Saturday 13th November - 18th December 2021
Roy Watson was born in 1932 in pre-war Hull. He excelled in art from a young age. When he was 10, at his local cinema, he saw ‘The Moon and Sixpence’ (a film based on the life of the artist Paul Gauguin). It was a formative experience. After watching it, he ran home, created a crude easel in his bedroom and drew a portrait.
His first job was in a sign writer’s shop – following this he enlisted in the army. In 1953, during the Korean War, he was posted to Japan as part of the supply chain. There he came to understand how important art is in a social context. Buddhism in particular and spirituality in general pervaded everything – both thought and activity. Following his participation in an art exhibition at an army education centre he spent some time working with a group of Japanese artists, at their invitation, which further developed
his art philosophy.
On his return to England he enrolled at the renowned Camberwell School Of Art from 1954-58. All students were initially required to learn a craft – and for Roy this was stone carving – thereafter, although he was encouraged to study sculpture, he chose painting. His tutors included such luminaries as Tony Fry, Anthony Eyton, Joe Dixon, Gordon Scott, Robert Medley (who had attended the first meeting of the surrealist movement in England in 1937) and the war artist, Vivian Pitchforth.
Although he was eager to make a living from his art, necessity found him working variously as a forester, a rep for Lyons and for Green Shield Stamps. However, he maintained his passion for art and throughout his working career he continued to draw, sketch and paint. He exhibited in Cambridge (where by that time he was residing) and, abroad, in Germany and Holland. He moved from Cambridge to Grange over Sands in 1998. Following the death of his wife in 2012, he married Margaret and together in 2017, they came to live in Morecambe.