Exhibition in Ramsgate marks first anniversary of artist Steve Lobb’s death

An exhibition in memory of artist Steve Lobb

By Dan Thompson

An exhibition at Ramsgate’s Wooden Box Gallery has been organised to mark the first anniversary of artist Steve Lobb’s death.

Steve moved to Ramsgate in 2013 and went on to have many successful exhibitions at the Pie Factory Margate. Born in Ilford, Essex in 1936, Steve went to Guildford School of Art and then to the Royal Academy Schools. He became an art teacher at Ravensbourne College of Art. As an artist, he exhibited at the Royal Academy, Alexandra Palace and the Serpentine Gallery, and more recently in a series of shows at Margate’s Pie Factory Gallery.

He was a founder of the Greenwich Mural Workshop together, and pioneered large-scale and gable-end murals in a series of paintings across London. He co-wrote the Mural Handbook which was published by Artists’ Newsletter (now known as a-n) in 1985. In 2019 Steve published For Walls With Tongues, a history of the London mural movement which is seen as the definitive book on the subject. It was accompanied by an exhibition at the University of Greenwich.

Steve was also a poet, appearing under the name of Emile Sercombe, performing his own brand of surreal, exuberant poetry at Apples and Snakes, Dodo Modern Poets, Landing Place at Turner Contemporary, and Eats ’n’ Beats Poets, which he hosted in Ramsgate.

Steve painted and constructed artworks. His pictures grew from many different ideas and passions; of forests and fires, ponds and beaches, fairgrounds, greed and war – each developing in curious ways. Steve’s more recent artworks were conceptual visions of forests, fairgrounds and flames, marching generals, ponds, beaches and strange city street scenes. He had planned an exhibition before the illness which led to his death, and this exhibition is based around that work.

Steve once said: ‘My work is of the busy earth, in streets and cafes, on beaches, fairgrounds and battle fields, in lily ponds and the sea.’

Artist François Matarasso, who trained with the Greenwich Mural Workshop, said, “All my memories of Steve evoke kindness, humour and a lack of self importance with an unwavering commitment to art always.”

Steve Lobb Paintings is at The Wooden Box Gallery, 92 High Street, Ramsgate from 20th – 26th June, and the gallery is open 11.00am – 4.00pm.

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