nic Vaila Fine Art > Ron Sandford: Vaila Fine Art press release July 2015
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RON SANDFORD - July 2015 press release

Ron Sandford, new drawings and prints

Exhibition invite Lobster creel and Fish Box drawingThe new exhibition of drawings and prints by Ron Sandford opens on Saturday 18th July at 6 pm at Vaila Fine Art in South Commercial Street, Lerwick.

Dorota Rychlik, the gallery proprietor, asked the artist’s close friend, Mike McDonnell, to share his personal insights on the subject. These are his words:

“After sixty years of intensive drawing Ron Sandford still finds new images to tackle and , like an inveterate collector of postage stamps, he places them in his sketch book album to be studied for future reference or enjoyment. An abandoned boat shed, a rabbit the cat brought home, a ship in a bottle, an unusual flower, a freshly caught trout, a wrecked polytunnel, musical instruments, a geological formation may become the inspiration for another finely executed work. He has never owned a camera, and probably wouldn’t know how to use one, but hastily prepared field drawings serve as records of his extensive travels and sources of inspiration.”Black sheep linocut print

“The sketches become part of a hierarchy: hastily prepared drawings on cards or a wee book act as an aide memoire when he is on the move, and the more detailed works, captured at leisure, belong to a higher division and are included in the Big Sketch books.”

“A road trip to a recent jazz festival on Bute provided a good insight into his modus operandum. At brief pit stops along the way, the wee pocket-book book would be produced to capture an unfamiliar subject or view, and during a more extended stay he would disappear for a few horsing return with a big book and elaborate drawings of an art deco building (Rothesay has a few), or a 14th century castle almost ready for framing. At the jazz sessions, once he had drawn his quota of the blues singers and instrumentalists, he would shift his focus to the audiences. Then, at the end of the day, when the table was set up for a meal, the itinerant artist felt compelled to draw the interior of the camper van.”

“Most artists’ careers involve compromise: in order to survive they must respond to the needs of their clients or public, and cannot afford to be too self indulgent. Ron’s chosen path led him in the direction of multinational organisations, national museums, book publishers and international architects. Although he could put his own stamp (or pictogram) on the work produced, he had to respond to the needs and demands of the commissioning agents.”

3 musicians, drypoint etching “Since his move to Shetland in 2001, freed from the shackles of the commercial world, he has relished the chance to choose his own subjects and experiment again with different media. In his Galley Shed studio, as the fancy takes him, he switches around from painting and drawing to linocuts, etching or drypoint - techniques he had abandoned for years since he left art school. There is a bewildering range of works festooned around the ever diminishing workspace, and choosing a selection for an exhibition must be a delight, a challenge - and a nightmare! Little help would be forthcoming from the artist - apart from the offer of dodgy coffee in a mug splattered with ink or watercolour.”

“As he gets (even) older Ron gets ever more reluctant to show his work - he is too busy producing more.”

The current exhibition highlights Ron Sandford’s recent progress and his still evolving output. All works are for sale and the exhibition continues until Up-Helly Aa, allowing for an annual holiday and the Shetland Wool Week.