Friday, 11 January 2013

Local mariner turns artist

Experiences at sea expressed through paintings

Living in Acol, David Redfern has spent over forty years travelling the world by sea.   Starting off at the top in the English America’s Cup team in 1983, 1987 and 1990 then touring Britain promoting 12 metre yacht sailing, he has experienced the sea in all moods.   His sailing ranges from iceberg and whale spotting at night off Newfoundland in Canada, sailing the American east coast, crossing the Great Lakes of Canada or just pootling about in Falmouth in a tiny classic sailing boat.  He organised a tour of England in a replica of one of Nelson’s ships to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar in 2005. In recent times, David has travelled the Caribbean and the Pacific lecturing on cruise ships about his maritime experiences.
Now, some of those moments, and some imagined ones are to be on show at the York Street Gallery in 

Ramsgate (6-13th Feb) where David is having his first one-man exhibition.
When he left art school in 1962 his tutor told him that he was too lazy to paint, and would probably not touch a canvas again until he retired.  David now reflects on how true that prophecy was, having, in retirement taken to the brush again to paint pictures “ ..not in any modern or abstract way, but simple pictures that people can understand and hopefully relate to”. The paintings include local landscapes as well.
There is a dramatic painting showing a heavy sea off  Ramsgate, experienced when David recently sailed a replica mediaeval caravel from the time of Columbus from London to Sandwich. The journey was after the ship, the ‘Matthew’ had taken part in the Queen’s Jubilee Regatta on the Thames in June and one large painting on display was taken from sketches made on Regatta day showing tall-ships and the royal barge by Tower Bridge.

“A fantasy picture that I really enjoyed painting was my rendition of the Viking ship ’Hugin’ shown as it might have been in the Viking invasion off Ebbsfleet, near to Cliffsend.” “ I really enjoyed trying to imagine what a fleet of Viking ships might have looked like at the time”. The exhibition is at the York Street Gallery 

Ramsgate from the 6th to the 13th February. Open every day. The gallery is in the little side street alongside Wilkinson’s and has been a major focus for local art since it opened last year, winning a prestigious award from the Ramsgate Society for its owner, Mike Samson.  

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