For many decades Rod Harman taught at Hastings College and headed the art department.
He now finds himself revered by a whole new generation of young artists, one of whom - Kenton Lowe - is about to launch an exhibition of Rod’s work in his own gallery in Robertsbridge this coming weekend.
It’s been an exciting season for the blackShed gallery having celebrated 10 years and recently awarded a business development grant from EU’s Regional Development Fund in partnership with East Sussex Business Boost.
Ex-student Kenton said: “Speak to anyone involved in visual arts in and around Hastings and everyone will have a Rod Harman story.”
Another former student Robert Sample, himself a painter who works out of St Leonards, commented: “He not only encouraged us to take risks and to deeply reflect on our motivations, but he modelled a raw passion and conviction that was rare in other tutors.”
Kenton added: “Harman is an intensely sensitive painter, and hugely prolific, he paints in the way most people breathe. He has worked every day for the last 50 years, applying paint feverishly - scratching, smearing and often using paint straight from the tube or applying it with found objects. His paintings are full of disarming and beautifully drawn lines and smudges that are built up iteratively in a heartfelt frenzy. The sincerity and genuineness of his work recalls that of folk or primitive art, but on closer inspection Harman’s use of colour and composition is highly sophisticated; his drawing sublime.”
The exhibition is accompanied by a short film by Richard Heslop, edited by Sam Sharples, called A Day In New York.