Darren Banks: 'The Raven' The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, UK
Image: Darren Banks, The Raven, Installation view, Mixed media, 2015, Courtesy of the artist, New Art Gallery Wallsall and Workplace Gallery, UK
The New Art Gallery Walsall
4th December 2014 - 26 April 2015
Churton Fairman (1924 - 1997) - better known by his alias Mike Raven - had an extraordinary life. Starting out as an aspiring ballet dancer and photographer, he then became a pirate radio dj, pioneer of blues music and one of the first presenters on Radio One. He was also a horror movie actor, starring alongside the like of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. In the 1970s he gave up his celebrity lifestyle and moved to Bodmin Moor in Cornwall to become a sheep farmer and wood carver. Fairman's sculpture, which explored religious themes, was exhibited alongside work by Henry Moore and Jacob Epstein, and was well received and collected during his lifetime, but since then has been all but forgotten.
Artist Darren Banks, who discovered he had a family connection to Churton Fairman and was intrigued by his life story, has recently created a body of work inspired by Fairman's legacy. Banks' practice examines the relationship between objects and film, so he was drawn to Fairman's work as both a sculptor and horror movie actor.
Our 2nd Floor Garman Ryan temporary exhibition space will host a new installation by Banks, which will reference Fairman, alongside works by Epstein and Gaudier-Brzeska in our collection.
The New Art Gallery Walsall has been gifted one of the Churton Fairman's sculptures, which will go on display for the first time in our Religion room as part of this exhibition.
Workplace Gallery is a contemporary art gallery run by artists.
Based in Gateshead UK, Workplace Gallery represents a portfolio of emerging and established artists through the gallery programme, curatorial projects and international art fairs.