Sunday, 3 June 2018

THE REDWING RESIDENCY BEGINS - ROB DONOVAN WITH JAGO STONE FOR STARTERS

The Redwing Gallery began opening its doors at around 10.20 on Saturday morning and I was at hand with my Nikon Coolpix to capture some of these moments - and now I can share these images with you on this post today.

Redwing Gallery

The location of the Redwing Gallery lies between Market Jew Street, a main thoroughfare in



Penzance, and Bread Street, a much smaller back-lane that runs parallel to the main street.

A view from Bread Street, looking down Wood Street - the lane that links Bread Street and Market Jew Street 


This is a view down Wood Street, past the Redwing Gallery, towards Market Jew Street.

Looking down, towards Market Jew Street - the figure is that of Roselyne Williams, co-director and founder of the Gallery, who has just opened the doors. 

And this is a view looking down Bread Street, with Wood Street on the right, the Crown on the left and the side of the Redwing Gallery abutting Bread street.

Side view of the exterior of the Redwing Gallery


The Bread Street Art Trail poster - just visible on the red door in the side view above:

There is a very big nest of artists in Bread Street 

I had a handful of interested people attending this first talk and they all seemed to find a fascination in the tale of how 'Jago' the book took off.  It was certainly an enjoyable story for me to deliver in 45 minutes. Here is a summary of the main sections that tell the story of how Jago and his art became part of my life:

*  Jago meets Louise, my wife-to-be, and her family - in the summer of 1969 - and remains in the Gerrard's Cross, Bucks area for over a year, departing towards the end of 1970 - gifting both daughters a painting as a leaving present, having received commissions from both Louise's father and mother.

* Seven years after Jago first walked up the driveway of Louise's family home, I married Louise and Jago's painting is hung on a wall in our first home.

Jago's leaving gift to Louise 


* As the Millenium approaches - in the late 1990s - Louise's parents decide to move to Aldeburgh in Suffolk and begin to downsize in preparation - and sort through papers. Ronald - Louise's father - gifts us the two pieces Jago had been commissioned to paint and another work bought at Jago's Bardon studio - and he passes over without comment the photocopy of the Sunday Express interview that Denis Pitts conducted with Jago in 1983. We learnt for the first time that Jago was as ex-convict - and that he had written his autobiography called 'The Burglar's Bedside Companion' (1975).

* The arrival of the World Wide Web in the 1990s changed so much. By the early 2000s, the Google search machine was beginning to become popular and somewhat belatedly by 2011 I had discovered the Skinny Latte blog as I googled the name of Jago Stone to discover more about him. The Skinny Latte blog was the creation of a young London woman and ran from 2000 to 2015. Just by chance it seems, it became a vehicle for those who had known Jago or had bought his pictures or were his children to communicate with each other and the world at large. I learned a great deal as Chapter Four of 'Jago' reveals.

* In 2009, I had brought my lifetime in the classroom to an end and was now researching the consequences and causes of the Financial Crisis of 2008 with the intention of writing about this defining moment in our social and political history. By 2016, I had self-published through Troubador the fruits of that enterprise: 'The Road to Corbyn'. (Copies available at a reasonable price through pressing this link.)

* By the end of 2015, I had purchased for around £50 a copy of Jago's autobiography on Amazon and after reading it - see Chapter Three in 'Jago' -  I knew I wanted to write his biography. But that would only be possible, if I became an online Sherlock Holmes. I determined to set up a virtual online detective agency and by January 2016 had established a website and blogsphere through the admirable services of Steve McIntosh (press this link for further information about this excellent professional).    


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So much for Saturday's talk. This Tuesday - from 10.30 to 12.30 in the morning - I will be back at Redwing to give a talk entitled 'Biography from an Online Detective Agency'. This will continue the story from January 2016 through to the present, examining the fruits of that Agency. If you can make it in person, that would be very cool!

You can also hear on Tuesday all about what was revealed for the first time on Saturday: Jago's Cornish connection - and conviction.

Do come!