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Nicholas Eastwood Art Exhibition: Images from life & music

Opening night Monday 20th April 2015

The works (approximately 65) in this Exhibition (painting, drawing, collage and ceramics) are derived from two main sources: music – both classical and flamenco – and secondly from experiences and places abroad, while on academic lecture exchanges over a fifteen year period for the University of Exeter to Europe and as an art student in Paris in the 60’s. The majority of this Exhibition will be on show in October of this year at the Wolfson College Gallery, Oxford University.

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In many respects my works are a diary, recording the Past, not necessarily major events but ones that I wanted to remember, ones important to me at that time.  Now, most, if not all my work, is connected in some way with countries overseas, and distant horizons, although I do see myself as a very British painter.

I shall always be indebted to two of my dear friends and colleagues: Raymond Calcraft, Former Head of Hispanic Studies at the University of Exeter and Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) Ensemble for making me seriously aware of Classical Music – the music of Joaquín Rodrigo in particular.  My other great classical mentor, the late Dr Ulrike Schwartz, artist in his own right and Conductor of the Georgian Youth Orchestra.  Under their guidance I have found an unlimited vocabulary of shapes and moods, listening to other orchestras’ interpretation and attending RPO’s rehearsals etc.  This culminated in my displaying 22 large works above the stage of the Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Exeter Philharmonic Choir for the Rodrigo Centenary Concert in 2002. The Contessa de Aranjuez, Cecilia Rodrigo, the daughter of the Composer, has since become over the years a great friend and has always supported my work. She in fact awarded me the Schott Medal in Madrid in February 2013.

After being introduced to Pepe Romero by Raymond Calcraft in 1995 (both lifelong friends of Rodrigo) and hearing him play Flamenco, I immediately wanted to learn more of this fascinating and ancient tradition in music. This eventually led me to Malaga.  The paintings and collage in this Exhibition will include a selection from a new Series Images from Malaga 2012-14, and are simply painted from informal flamenco evening concerts, including dance, at the Kelipe Academy in Malaga.  I have since worked with many Spanish guitarists who have explained and taught me various forms of flamenco music specially the influence of Arabic and North Africa music on that of Southern Spain.  To give a background there is a small selection of personal photographs of guitarists with whom I have worked or who have influenced my work. I only now have come to realise the real wonder of what a single instrument can achieve – not only as a solo – but also in concerts with an orchestra. The interpretations and variations are endless.