Last week the Eye Like team were in for quite a treat, when the not so concrete jungle of Beaconsfield was greeted by the presence of music extraordinaire Horace Panter, who came to visit us at Eye Like Gallery!
Maybe more well known for his role as the bassist in The Specials, it may surprise some of you to know that Horace is just as artistically talented as he is musically. You’re wondering now if his passion for art and music have always coincided, and indeed when he went to Coventry’s ‘Lanchester Polytechnic’ not only did he gain a degree in Fine Art, but it was here that the magic happened and Horace met Jerry Dammers. Cue the bright lights and the centre-stage, together they formed The Specials, a band that went on to become one of the most defining bands of the 80’s and who's music is just as popular today as it was three decades ago. I say this with total sincerity, as despite how the band split before I was even born, I’ve been known to sing along to a tune or two of theirs! They're a common household name even for a young’un like me...
But enough about his music! What pleasantly surprised me as Horace walked through our doors, was his completely down to earth nature, and his clearly visible love of art. Walking around Eye Like Gallery, he commented numerous times about the great artwork, noticeably impressed and excited when spotting a Peter Blake piece that we had on display (the artist being one of Horace’s major influences). If this wasn’t a big enough indicator that Horace’s artwork is a perfect fit for Eye Like, taking a peek at the prints he’d brought along really sealed the deal.
As you would expect, as well as being based upon traditional forms of iconography with aspects of Pop Art, Horace’s musical background has heavily influenced his art. But as one by one he revealed his prints to us, it was not just these qualities of his work that impressed me, but more so the variety of his artworks. They ranged from his ‘Americana’ series – everyday landscapes and places in the U.S.A transformed by bold and distinct colours, to ‘The Ramones’ limited edition print– a montage of the successful band showcasing a clever ‘visual narrative’ of the The Ramones’ history. My personal favourites of Horace’s work however that are just too hot to handle are his ‘Cassettes’ series; the prints celebrate the cassette itself alongside the historical context of the album that appears on each one. I can’t say that I’m a professed music fan – I can barely keep up with the week’s number one – but I’m an avid lover of these prints and I would do nothing but smile if could look at one (or two, or three…) on the wall at home!
But it was with heavy hearts that after a couple of hours and lots of chit chat, Horace had to leave us and head back home – boo hoo! I can’t be too sad though, as Horace left as the newest member of the Eye Like family and we now have a fab range of his prints in the gallery that are just ready and waiting to have a home. And to top it all off for you Eye Likers, here’s a cheeky photo of Horace and I – I think you can tell by the grins on our faces that we’re going to have a great future ahead of us!
Eye Like Gallery.