Louis Turpin and Mick Rooney RA
Thursday October 15, 2020
Private View: Sunday 1 November 2020, 11am-4pm
The Exhibition continues until Saturday 21st November 2020
It is not easy reflecting. Painters like to move forward but in the minds eye there are beginnings.
Our children just born or very young. Our housing as yet unsettled. Our finances precarious (It was ever thus!) but then Louis joined forces with Davida forging an anchorage in Rye that certainly made me feel, whether I was up, down or sideway their friendship and a sense of reassurance.
Louis has become well known for his vibrant portraits of gardens-seminal, structural, wild and exotic but in the long-lived in house are some wonderful portraits of Davida and the boys when younger. Louis continues to make portraits of both people and landscapes. The Kent/Sussex borders provide him with sheep, marshes, river estuaries and townscapes mixed appropriately with the passing seasons.
In a corner stands Louis’s well-tempered guitar. He is also a gravelly-voiced jongleur regularly fronting ‘Get down Blues’ in diverse venues many of which over the years I and a select coterie have joyfully attended.
As one ages the vicissitudes of nature come to visit. Both Louis and I have lately been conversing with the bad boys.
That we share an exhibition at Fosse Gallery is testament to our survival instincts, energy resources and the tender ministrations of family and friends. It’s almost as if now we have no time left to worry about Art. But of course we still do. Mick Rooney
In the early 1970s there was an unarranged though discernible drift of artists and musicians from London to the Hastings / Rye area. Housing was cheaper than in the metropolis and for us London was a place that only needed visiting occasionally. I moved to a country cottage in Peasmarsh and Mick to a townhouse in Hastings. As I remember, our first meeting was at an Open Exhibition in Eastbourne.
We both had young families, a passion for food and studios in our respective houses. At this time Mick’s paintings depicted magical restaurants inhabited by an eccentric mix of behatted punters and enthusiastic staff. I loved the creative intensity that animated those paintings.
My parallel career as a musician meant I played several gigs a week. Whilst Mick wasn’t involved in public performance, at parties we would usually end up playing guitars together, Mick adding a jazzy riff to the mix.
Exhibitions came and went and whilst I stayed by the coast, Mick moved around, always finding inspiration in his environments and situations. Our journeys have taken different paths but always through these times we would meet. Socially down here on the coast and latterly in the Cotswolds. We’d get together at exhibitions and parties, London private views and of course at each other’s private views. We have always celebrated these meetings with food, conversation and then usually rounded off with music. Our paintings are inspired by such different triggers but it has always been, for me, a pleasure to watch Mick’s progress through his personal mythology reflecting as it does his life’s journey. Louis Turpin