Ray Balkwill at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum
10:30 a.m. on November 27, 2021
For those who know Exmouth artist Ray Balkwill, the Exe estuary has been the engine of his art for more than four decades.
His passion for this magnificent body of water is unquestionable and the upcoming exhibition at the CafÃ© at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter celebrates his long-standing love affair with the people, culture and history of his native county. He’s captured his many moods along both shores in just about every medium possible, including books and movies.
Ray was born in Exeter and graduated from Exeter College of Art in the late 1960s, then pursuing a career in advertising as an art director. In 1990, the demand for his paintings led him to give up his work to become a professional artist.
Since then he has organized numerous successful solo exhibitions, as well as group and open exhibitions. In 2006, he was elected academician at the South West Academy and he is also the author of seven art books, including âRay Balkwill’s Exe Estuaryâ.
Ray has always been a strong advocate of open-air painting, his inspiration coming from the landscape itself. However, for the pieces in this exhibition, he chose to work in the workshop from memory and quick sketches. This new work therefore focuses more on the âspiritâ of the landscape than on the landscape itself. The exhibition also includes several of his mixed media assemblages. Ray added, âThe inspiration for these came initially when I came across an old weathered boat on the foreshore.
âRemarkably enough, the incessant and continuous effects of time and inclement weather had created the sight of the estuary scene in front of me. The objects found with their multi-layered surfaces of neglect and decay reveal great riches; the weather-worn patina becoming the center of the work itself. These simple, discarded fragments have all experienced past lives, but still speak and invite rebirth. ”
‘The River’s Voice’ will be held at the RAMM CafÃ©, Queen Street, Exeter and will run from December 7, 2021 to June 26, 2022. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays and public holidays. Free entry and all works are for sale.