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Roy, weather artist whose work hangs in MP Corbyn’s home

Exhibition to celebrate painter after his recent death

27 October, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Roy Appleton with some of his paintings

THE life and work of a Holloway painter is being celebrated with a final exhibition, humorously subtitled “I told you I was under the weather”.

Roy Appleton, who died last month after a period of illness, grew up in the borough and used to spray-paint Rolls-Royces for a living.

Born in 1954, Mr Appleton was a father, a granddad, a partner and a good friend to many. He spent most of his life making, building and fixing. He painted school playgrounds as well as cars and black cabs before turning his hand to abstract art.

He was inspired by the changeable British weather and, unlike many people, he enjoyed it when it rained. He tracked the weather forecast on TV and waited for the perfect conditions – a dry morning, followed by rain. When the time was right he would take a canvas and coloured acrylic paints out to his backyard, and energetically set about it. He loved the physical act of throwing, pouring, squirting and splattering paint from a height. He would then leave the wet canvas outside, exposed to the elements to let nature take its course.

The process and results not only boosted his own health and wellbeing, but also caught the eye of MP Jeremy Corbyn, who picked up one of Mr Appleton’s pieces around four years ago.

He hit the national headlines over the summer when Mr Corbyn named Mr Appleton as his favourite artist. His work “Yellow Red Orange” hangs in Mr Corbyn’s Finsbury Park home. Overjoyed by his new-found fame, sales of Mr Appleton’s work also enjoyed a boost.

His artwork also hangs in the homes of his family and many of his closest friends as treasured reminders of his creativity and achievements.

Mr Appleton was referred to the Peter Bedford Housing Association (PBHA), a charity that works with socially excluded adults, by mental health services.

When he first started making art, his family were not too sure about it, but with his determination and confidence improving his techniques, he developed his own creative style and went on to create dozens of paintings over the last few years of his life.

He showcased three successful exhibitions at PBHA’s shop Outpost, in Holloway Road. Titled Weather Beaten and Weather or Not, he sold many paintings, handmade cards and ceramics, building his public reputation as an artist.

His final exhibition, Not a load of Pollocks: I Told You I Was Under The Weather, runs at Outpost until November 5.

Selected artwork is for sale, with money going to the Appleton family and PBHA – Creative Programmes, supporting vulnerable adults across north-east London.

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