Bill Rich was haunted by terrifying demons. Some that manifested in his isolated home, as I detailed in my non-fiction book Testimony. And some that were firmly embedded in his psyche, as he always admitted.
All of it contributed to the art that he laboured over all his life, all of it, in some way, haunted. In the book I wrote about the works he completed during the frightening events that swirled around him in his home, Heol Fanog, and which were influenced by the horrors there. But Bill, who died two years ago, also left a body of work from the years before and after that troubled time. One of his surreal paintings heads this piece.
Now his widow Liz is keen to stage an exhibition of Bill’s work.
She says, “Bill’s paintings have never been exhibited, which I feel is sad, as he was an unusually talented artist. During his life he dedicated his time to painting what he described as primitive surreal art. Most of his ideas came from dreams or interpretations of what was happening around him. Each painting holds immense emotion and visual stories.
“Bill’s dream would have been that his work could at last be appreciated and understood. I know he would have been overjoyed to see his art work reaching a wider audience.”
I’ve seen some of the art and it definitely deserves a public viewing. I’m sure Liz would be keen to hear from anyone with gallery space or the wherewithal to make it happen.
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