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Passing the time with Kenneth Webb

Charisma, passion, vibrancy and quirkiness are just some of the words which strike you about one of our most exuberant and colourful artists. These expressions reflect the person, the life and the surroundings of Kenneth and his wife Joan.

The chance to share Sunday lunch with him in deepest Devon is always a real treat. Looking over the valley from the table, across tree tops and moor on the edge of Chagford, towards a Tor on the horizon you can see where some of Kenneth’s enthusiasm for life is drawn from.

As he talks to you over lunch another very important place occurs regularly in conversation. Ireland.

Kenneth has roots in pre-Civil war Ireland, his father’s family having left Wexford for London in the early 1900’s. At 25 he secured a job at the University of Ulster, which began his Irish adventure and from where after travelling with his wife around the whole country resulted in them settling in the West.

Ballinaboy, the Connemara landscape and a thick-walled traditional cottage is where since the 1970’s he has drawn inspiration from the wide peat bog landscapes and his own poppy strewn and bog oak sculpture garden. Out in the west of Ireland his painting takes it’s form, where vibrant colour and nature’s moods are translated onto canvas.

50 years of teaching art, a passion for horses and riding, tales from the RAF and stories of artistic friends from the 1960’s and 70’s, people we call “Mod Brits,” ensure the wonderful roast lunch Joan has cooked vanishes in what seems like only minutes.

This is before “business” starts. A young man still at 88 years he zips around the house to bring out his paintings and work he feels passionate about for his next show with us in April.

From his cellar art store to the attic studio he has filled the house with choices for us to consider for London. Mostly Kenneth’s work is on the floor as many of those “Mod Brits” are hanging on his walls – artists Kenneth counted as inspiration such as Piper, Hitchin and Williams. Bright fields of blowing poppies, rockwalls, gleaming beach scenes and the bogs and peat moors of Ireland shimmer in gold, silver and vibrant colours.

A small selection made it back to town with us after a marvellous day in Devon. Take a special preview here

The dates of Kenneth’s next exhibition with us are Thursday 16th April – Thursday 30 April.


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