Faces of Ruskin Exhibition

We are delighted to be extending our exhibition in partnership with the Oxford Art Society. After a busy launch evening and open exhibition in October at Ruskin College's first campus in central Oxford on Walton Street, we have decided to bring the exhibition to Ruskin College in Old Headington.  All of the portraits will displayed all around the College until the 15 December 2017 - so if you didn't have a chance to see them last month, there's still time!
Contact marketing@ruskin.ac.uk if you would like to come to the College and view the portraits.

About the Oxford Art Society

The Oxford Art Society was formed in 1891 at the instigation of Walter Tyrwhitt who remarked on the need for a society to encourage Art in the City and in the University. The President was to be Hubert von Herkomer, RA, who had succeeded John Ruskin as the Slade Professor of Fine Art in Oxford, and who demonstrated painting in his lectures because he believed that knowledge of the practice of painting was important for understanding history of art.  Find out more about the Oxford Art Society.

About the Artists behind the Faces of Ruskin Exhibition

Here are a few of the Artists behind the Faces of Ruskin Exhibition.

Alan Kidd

*Here's a sneak peak of Alan painting an oil portrait  of Sally Courtney, Finance Director at Ruskin College. The painting on the right hand side is one of Anthony Taylor, former student at Ruskin College, who was also painted by Alan.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Alan grew up and was educated in Rhodesia. His Art education was completed at Walthamstow School of Art, in Essex, England. He was lucky enough to benefit from tutors of the calibre of Peter Blake, Fred Cuming and Ken Howard for painting and Anne House for sculpture and stone carving. He graduated in 1965 with a National Diploma in Design (NDD) in Fine Art - Painting and Sculpture.

After leaving college he returned to Rhodesia where he embarked on a career in advertising, graphic design and illustration. Alan now lives in Oxfordshire and although still working as a freelance graphic designer he is very active in the field of fine art.

Exploring various painting media, focusing on texture, light and colour, both accidental and considered are his prime objectives. He endeavours to achieve a clean, contemporary approach, whilst retaining the values of traditional painting.

In addition to painting landscapes, still life and portraiture in oil, watercolour, acrylic and pastels he also enjoys working in clay to produce figures and portrait heads from life, which are either fired or cast in bronze resin.

Alan has exhibited at Patchings Farm, Nottingham; in Montesson, France; in Belgium and at various local exhibitions throughout Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire including various shows at The Obsidian Art Gallery near Aylesbury.

In 2001 Alan’s large self portrait was selected for the Ruth Borchard Competition and exhibited at the Kings Place Gallery, London.

Most recently Alan took part in the ‘Be Magnificent’ Exhibition at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, to celebrate the golden years of Walthamwtow School of art, 1955 -1965.

His work can be viewed online at www.alankidd.com. Commissions for portrait paintings and portrait sculpture by appointment with the artist. Tel: 01844 214969 or e-mail: alankidd@macace.net.

Alan Mynall

*This is Alan and on the right hand side is a sneak peak of his portrait of Evelyn Shaw,  Chef when Ruskin College was at Walton Street.

Alan Mynall has been living and painting in and around Oxford for thirty five years and has been a member of the Oxford Art Society for most of that time. He studied Graphics at Bristol in the late sixties. When he isn't painting portraits, he paints trees, and vice versa. See more at www.mynall.co.uk 

Barbara Gorayska

*This is Barbara and on the right hand side are sneak peaks of her portraits of Kieron Winters, former student and now Warden at Ruskin College and Chris Wilkes Ruskin College Principal and General Secretary.

Barbara is Polish by birth and British since 1974. She took up oil painting in 2006 after she retired from her academic career as a theoretical linguist and cognitive technologist.

Until recently Barbara's artistic practice appealed to societal conscience by exploring tensions between the old and the new, the private and the public, the ugly and the beautiful, the moral and the immoral or amoral. The multivalent, figurative paintings thus created request the viewer’s deliberation about the dilemmas portrayed therein. The images symbolically refer back to well-known works of old masters to create an aura of eternal truths about what it means to be human.

Her current passion is promoting the good rather than prohibiting the bad. The portraiture she is working on, as a personal project, is dedicated to universal, tender, compassionate love the sense of which all human beings on Earth possess.

Subtle expression of emotion is a hallmark of all of Barbara's art.

Further information about Barbara's work and myself can be found on:

Her website: http://www.barbaragorayska.com  (please feel free to download any of the images of her work)
The Observatory of Responsible Research and Innovation: http://www.orbit-rri.org/about-rri/barbara-gorayska/
Oxford Art Society website: http://www.oxfordartsociety.co.uk

Caroline Ritson


*On the left handside is a sneak peak of Caroline's painting of Ed Hart, AV Technician at Ruskin College. On the right handside is one of Caroline's "green man paintings".

Whilst talking about her work to Ed, Caroline told him about the green men paintings that she does inspired by the pagan carvings hiding in churches (See second image above). Caroline goes out with her camera and photograph  faces that she finds in hedgerows and trees and then paints from them. She actually pointed one out to Ed in the view to illustrate the idea and decided to put it in the painting! (He is just about visible in the central tree behind the wall - can you see him?)

Caroline loves painting details and you can see on her website that she follows themes that inspires her, be it waves, old doors or reflections. Caroline has exhibited widely, is a member of Oxford Art Society and co-chair of Abingdon Artists.

Website carolineritson.co.uk

Facebook : Caroline Ritson artist

Celia Montague

*On the left is Celia Montague and on the right is a sneak peak of her portrait of Wendy Dawson, Governing Council Member
Celia is a portrait and landscape painter who has lived in Oxford for the last 24 years, having returned with her husband and children a few years after reading Modern and Mediaeval Languages at Oxford University.  Celia's formal training as a painter began with drawing at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, followed by the Diploma in Portraiture at Heatherleys in London, and two years of life painting at the Prince's Drawing School.  She exhibits her landscapes, mainly painted in Oxfordshire and Italy, in galleries in London and the Cotswolds.  She has a studio in Oxford where she paints some of her portraits, whilst others are painted in sitters' homes.  She thoroughly enjoyed painting Wendy, who came to her studio this summer for eight two-hour sittings and  was great company as well as being a very helpfully disciplined sitter.   For further information and examples of Celia's work, please see her website at http://www.celiamontague.co.uk/

Jenny Fay

*On the left is Jenny Fay and on the right is a sneak peak into her portrait of Marva Small, Governing Council Member

Born in West Africa in 1978, Jenny Fay moved to England when she was seven and grew up in Cambridgeshire.  After reading Chemistry at Oxford University, Jenny completed an Art Foundation Course at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2001.  She then pursued a career as a patent attorney in London for several years before returning to art in her thirties, shortly after moving to Oxfordshire. 

Jenny studied portraiture at the Heatherley School of Fine Art in Chelsea where she received a Special Commendation for her diploma and was awarded the Heatherleys Portrait Diploma Prize in 2014.  She exhibits regularly with the Oxford Art Society and the Reading Guild of Artists and has also recently exhibited in the Henley Royal Regatta Gallery, Cornerstone Arts Centre and The Reading Contemporary Art Fair.

Jenny lives in Goring-on-Thames with her husband and two children and works from her purpose-designed studio.  She undertakes portrait commissions and can be contacted via her website where you can also see more of her art portfolio.


Artist’s Statement

I believe every portrait is a search for truth.  I love painting in oil because it allows you to work and re-work a painting so that it evolves organically.  For me this process is about journeying towards truth.  Part of the beauty of an oil portrait is that all the marks of the journey you’ve made exist in and enhance the finished work. 

Portraiture turns what can sometimes be a lonely existence as an artist into a series of wonderfully enriching collaborations.  As you paint from life, artist and sitter spend many hours together and a relationship develops between them.  You invite the sitter to participate in and accompany you through the creative process.  At the same time, the sitter allows you to sensitively peel away the facade that they habitually present to the world, to uncover and capture the essence of their character.

Jenny Fay – September 2017

Ken Organ

*This is a sneak peak into Ken Organ's portrait of Moreen White former student at Ruskin College
Ken Organ's paintings and drawings are figurative. Subjects which are of particular interest to Ken are the human figure, portraiture and landscape. Textures, movement and space is what he likes to explore in his work. Ken's chief mediums are acrylic on canvas and compressed charcoal on cartridge.  
As well as participating in many group exhibitions Ken has also had work accepted by the Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition 1997 Two Fish on a Wooden Block, charcoal drawing. 2015 Stubble, acrylic on canvas.
www.kenorganart.com / Email: ken@kenorganart.com

Kevin Line

*On the left is Kevin Line and on the right is a sneak peak into his portrait of Gerard Ward, Programme Coordinator and Tutor in Law  and Paul Di Felice, Principal at Ruskin College.

A painter of portraits and portrait driven genre pictures, Kevin Line is entirely self taught. He was born in 1948 and brought up in London, but has lived for many years in the North Cotswolds. After a long period in industry and commerce, he spent 20 years working as a freelance garden designer. In 2009 he started painting. His charcoal grisaille portraits quickly attracted attention in the art world, and he has been exhibited extensively at The Mall Galleries, the Royal West of England Academy, and the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. He was elected a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in 2014.

Artists statement

“I have an endless fascination with the subtleties of the facial and body language of people. I am a realist. I don’t flatter, for that would be to deceive. By using only monochrome, any hint of sentiment is stripped from the work. My paintings are often darkly introspective, but I hope they are truthful and human.”

Society Memberships:

Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
Oxford Art Society

Awards and Prizes:

2017 Pastel Society Faber castell/West Design Award
2016 RBSA Prize Exhibition Artists Magazine Prize
2014 RBSA Prize Exhibition Alec Morison Memorial Prize
2013 RWA Autumn Exhibition UWE Bristol Drawing Prize
2013 Featured Artist “A 108 Portraits” film. Curated by The Mall Galleries/RP


2017 Royal Society of Portrait Painters
2017 Pastel Society
2017 Royal Society of British Artists
2016 Pastel Society
2015 Pastel Society
2014 Royal Society of Portrait Painters
2013 Royal Society of Portrait Painters

Other Notable Exhibitions:

Royal West of England Autumn Exhibition. 2011-2016
Royal West of England Drawn Exhibition. 2015,2017
Society of Graphic Fine Art. 2016
RBSA Prize, Portrait Prize, Members Exhibitions. 2011-2017

We hope to see you soon!

Feel free to stop by at any time between now and the 15 December if you are interested in seeing the Faces of Ruskin portraits displayed around our campus in Old Headington. To register your interest please contact marketing@ruskin.ac.uk.