An Artistic Inspiration in Hanwell

95-year-old John Kaye is one of the exhibitors at the Borough of Ealing Art Trail

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Last year I thoroughly enjoyed wandering through Ealing and viewing the Borough of Ealing Art Trail (BEAT).

A huge array of talent is to be found behind the doors of many an ordinary looking surburban terrace, and I enjoyed chatting to many fantastic artists.

One man stood out though, and I'm delighted to have had opportunity to meet him in advance of the forthcoming weekend exhibitions on his home turf in Hanwell.

John Kaye - Liz Jenner
(John Kaye - images courtesy Liz Jenner)

John Kaye is 95. Yes, 95, and (probably - please correct me if wrong) the most senior artist taking part in the BEAT trail.

John Kaye - photo Liz Jenner

John works with metal, wood and cardboard making a variety of stand-out sculptures. He's also a very fine artist as his many paintings and drawings testify.

John Kaye - photo Liz Jenner

Born in south London in 1921 he originally trained to be a draughtsman and then became an engine mechanic with the RAF, sadly losing several of his school friends during WW2.

Later retiring and moving to South West France with his wife, John began to experiment with more sketching and sculpting using a variety of different materials.

Six years ago, John moved to Hanwell to be closer to his family, and now works in his front room turning wood and metal into precision works of art.  

He's motivated by everyday textures and materials and enjoys designing and creating something completely different, never deciding on the title until it is complete.

All his work will be on show during BEAT and most pieces are for sale.

John Kaye - Liz Jenner

John says: '' I think BEAT is a very good idea to encourage artists, and I'd say to those who think they are no good at art - just have a go, if you try it you might actually find you can.'

Despite heading towards his centenary, John's not planning to hang up his pencils, paint brushes and tools just yet, and has a few words of sage advice for others who worry about getting old.

''If I sat around doing nothing I'd just fall asleep so, if there's something you like doing - I'd say just do it ....for as long as you can.''

Hear, Hear! And long may he continue.

You can meet John and see his work over the two weekends of BEAT ( Number 52 in catalogue)

Annemarie Flanagan


6th September 2017

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