Art exhibitions and mental health wellbeing fundraiser in memory of Ramsgate artist Peter A Leigh

The funds will be raised in memory of artist Peter A Leigh

Exhibitions, a sale of art and a fundraiser have been organised by three close friends of a Ramsgate artist who tragically died by suicide last year.

Lucy Troubridge, Ruth Rollason and Russell Chater, who are also artists, have organised the events to raise month for Arts in Ramsgate and East Kent Mind in memory of  Peter A Leigh.

Peter, a prolific and talented artist, died aged 59 in October 2022 following the death of his partner David.

He left behind more than 200 pieces of his work which have been given in trust to the three friends by his family.

The sale of the artworks will raise money for the two charities “giving Peter the legacy he deserves, and for something positive to come from this tragic story.”

Although passionate about art throughout his life, Peter was late to formally study due to being a full-time carer for his mum who was also an accomplished artist).

Peter achieved a first-class BA Fine Art degree from UCA Canterbury in 2020 and had started an MA Fine Art degree also at UCA Canterbury in 2022.

Peter and David

Along with his long-term partner David, Peter had moved to Ramsgate in 2016, and the two were very active in the community – supporting many creative, charitable and LGBTQIA+ causes. The pair were  incredibly supportive of, and devoted to, each other – with Peter in particular supporting David who had a number of underlying health conditions including COPD and diabetes.

These conditions would prove fatal, as David passed away from Covid-related issues in October 2022, just one day before he and Peter were due to be formally married.

The tragedy of this proved too much for Peter, who had suffered mental health issues throughout his life, and he took his life just a few days later. The couple have left behind many grief-stricken family members and friends.

Peter has also left behind the huge body of artwork – approximately 200 pieces.

‘Peter A Leigh: A Life’s Work’

Funds will be raised through the sale of this work with three exhibitions of Peter’s art in Ramsgate at Radford House (former fire station in Effingham Street), Arts In Ramsgate (High Street) and Hold Creative (20 Queen Street) from 18 – 20 August.

The shows will  be entitled: ‘Peter A Leigh: A Life’s Work’. All are welcome to visit and see the breadth and quality of Peter’s practice, which encompassed painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and installation. Although eclectic, his work  was consistently colourful, abstract and graphic – referencing pop art, cubism and art povera.

Proceeds from sales will be split between ‘Arts in Ramsgate -a ‘not-for-profit’ inclusive space in the High Street that runs creative and well-being sessions with and for the community – and East Kent Mind, a Thanet mental health charity which has a branch in Ramsgate.

Russell said: “This will bring a positive note to a truly tragic story. Having Peter’s work go out into the local community and (hopefully) beyond will also be a fitting legacy to a much loved and respected artist who would have been 60 this year.”

Lucy added: “Peter and I exhibited together three times in the year until he passed. He was my beautiful dapper chapper. Working with him was so natural, fascinating and fun. I miss him every day, but he continues to be my inspiration to keep creating.

“ It is an honour to be involved in exhibiting his works to raise money for such worthy causes. Knowing he will live on through his artwork is not only a comfort to me, but more importantly, gives him the legacy he so rightfully deserves.”

A Go Fund Me page has been set up for those who would like to donate to the charities:

Peter’s instagram is still open @peter_a_leigh_art to see examples of his work.

Get help

  • The East Kent Mind crisis café is open from 6pm to 9.30pm, seven days a week. You can visit without an appointment. Address: 34 King St, Ramsgate CT11 8NT. 0795 060 8827 or visit their website
  • Call Kent and Medway’s Single Point of Access on 0300 222 0123 (24/7) or text 07860 022819 (8am-10pm)
  • Or call the Mental Health Matters team on 0800 107 0160. Free, confidential and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Thanet Safe Haven on 07850 655877 6pm – 11pm 365 days or email [email protected]. If your usual sources of support are closed Safe Haven in Thanet offers mental health support to Kent residents aged 16+, including healthcare professionals.
  • Wellbeing line 0203 912 0032 is open Monday – Friday 2pm-5pm and Sunday 6pm-10pm
  • SpeakUp CIC peer support in Margate Email: [email protected]