From being wheelchair-bound in Hastings' Conquest hospital in 2012, having recently recovered from a devastating accident and subsequently MRSA, Ian Lawrence decided that contrary to doctors' opinions, he would walk again. His childhood ambition of seeing his artwork in public and national galleries returned to him with vigour during those long, painful months of recovery in isolation and achieving this goal became his sole focus in life from that point on.
Ian Lawrence is an artist in the truest sense of the word as he has worked within many creative environments including fine art, garden design and instrument restoration. While his achievements within painting are plain for all to see, it may interest you to know that Ian won a silver gilt for a garden he designed at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Flower Show in 2009.
From 2001 – 2006 Ian held the title of ‘Artist-in-Residence’ with Connex (later Southeastern), the first Residency of its kind. He was given a studio on platform 1 of St. Leonards Warrior Square station with the aim being to bring contemporary art to an unusual and easily accessible location, but also to work with local schools and youth groups to broaden their appreciation of modern painting. To this end, over the five years of the Residency, Ian did a series of Open Studios across the region, turning a Waiting Room or an empty shop into a temporary studio.
He also ran projects with local schools which were sponsored by local businesses and culminated in an exhibition at St. Leonards Warrior Square station. Many of these shows were extensively covered in the national print press and the photographic exhibition with the children of the Fellowship of St. Nicholas got a feature-length slot on the BBC Six O’clock News. The tile installation that he created with a local school can still be seen in the Waiting Room of St. Leonards Warrior Square station.
“Since I first began painting, many years ago, I have been fascinated by the discrepancy between a painted colour and the same colour in nature. The blue of the sky is no more described by a single colour than a book would be by a single word. What we see is a complication of colours that make up an area and this we describe as blue, but anyone who has ever picked up a paintbrush and daubed light blue on a canvas knows that this does not make a sky.”