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Thursday, December 23, 2004 16:03
Ray Kimber
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Ray Kimber
Ray Kimber
 

The café at Quay Arts on the Isle of Wight will be brightened up in January with an exhibition of work by local artist Ray Kimber.

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During the 1950s Ray was employed in the cooper’s workshop of the Newport Brewery on the Isle of Wight. He remembers punting boat loads of barrels along the Lugley Brook to the warehouse which is now the Quay Arts building.

Entry to Ray Kimber's exhibition is free.

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Ray Kimber was born on the Isle of Wight in 1929 and has lived there for most of his life.

He was diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis when he was 30 years old and since then he has been confined to a wheelchair. Ray spent some years learning to paint but as his hands weakened he found it increasingly difficult to hold a brush. He eventually became so dissatisfied with his work that he stopped painting altogether.

However, his passion didn't die and a friend at the Cheshire Home where Ray lives got in touch with the Association of Mouth and Foot Painters (MFPA). This international association supports artists who paint by holding a brush in their feet or mouths. They encouraged Ray to take up his artwork again.

Ray Kimber's artwork
Ray Kimber's artwork

In 1995 Ray was awarded a student scholarship by the MFPA. This, together with tuition from Island artist, Colin Riches, has enabled him to develop his drawing and painting skills using his mouth. His work has since been exhibited at venues in the UK, Spain and the USA.

Ray paints watercolour studies of flowers and landscapes which aim to evoke a sense of light, space and quiet reflection.

Ray says of his work, “Although I am severely restricted in most things in life - I can move my head a small amount but nothing else - I do feel a wonderful sense of achievement when I’m holding a brush in my mouth and I’m making a worthwhile picture. It’s as though I’m having a conversation with my subject – it brings me a great sense of peace.”

Ray Kimber exhibition
Quay Arts Café
Wed 5 Jan – Sat 12 Feb 2005
Information 01983 822490

 
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