The artist Kenneth Townsend (1931-1999) was a well-known illustrator, sculptor and designer. He worked for international companies such as Liberty, Hornsey Pottery, Pilkington Glass and Galt Toys. In his later years he was the art director of Pickpocket Books.
Born in Winchelsea, East Sussex he went to school in Rye and eventually moved to Hastings studying painting at Hastings College of Art and Central School of Art, London. He continued to paint, draw and sculpt all of his life, inspired by his surrounding and the humorous personalities that lived locally. He was a recognized resident of the old town in Hastings, frequenting the jazz nights in the Anchor on George Street.
His preferred method of painting was to take photographs and once back in the studio he would recreate the landscapes with abstract expressions. The sense of emotion is a striking feature of Empirical Windows as Kenneth’s preference was for feeling as opposed to realistic depictions. He was one of the founding members of the Rye Society of Artists, exhibiting in their annual RSA summer shows.
This exhibition brings together previously unseen paintings from the family collection and works that have been displayed in prestigious galleries across the country. His work is also in private and public collections such as the Towner Art Gallery, Royal Scottish Museum, Leeuwarden Museum, Holland and Rye Art Gallery.
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