A DROITWICH artist is being celebrated as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival with an exhibition of his work, and organisers are keen to fill in the details of his Worcestershire background.
Stanley Simmonds was born in Droitwich in 1917, and went on to study at Birmingham College of Art before moving to the Royal College of Art, where he became very well known.
Mr Simmonds worked for much of his life from a studio in South Petherwin in Cornwall where he lived from 1983 until his death in 2006, and now he’s to receive further attention through an exhibition at the Foundry Gallery in Lewes this May, as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival.
Mr Simmonds painted rural scenes of Cornwall, as well as abstract compositions, a series on Billingsgate Fist Market, and country scenes based on the Worcestershire countryside, often depicting people involved in a group activity such as chatting, picking apples, or painting buildings.
During his lifetime, his work was exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery, the Royal Academy, The Bear Lane Gallery, Oxford and a large retrospective was held at The Somervillew Gallery in Plymouth in 2002, but this exhibition will feature several paintings which have never previously been shown in public.
The illustrator Quentin Blake is a big fan of Mr Simmonds work and exhibited with him in the 1960s. He said: "Stan was an indefatigable painter to the end of his life. So for me this exhibition is full of rewarding and sometimes quite unexpected works. It's an eloquent tribute to an exemplary life in art."
The exhibition is taking place from May 10-25 at the Foundry Gallery, and the organisers would be very interested to hear from Droitwich residents who may still remember Mr Simmonds from his time in the town.
Anyone with memories they might like to share, should get in touch with Chris Lent from Artemis Arts, which is managing the exhibition, on 01273 700781.