by Tom Gibbon
As an artist with more than 40 years experience behind him, you would not think Paul Sandilands had much left to achieve in his work.
However, the 63-year-old is a comparative novice in one particular, but crucial, aspect of being a painter and drawer – exhibiting.
Having been putting paint to canvas and ink to paper since he was 22, Mr Sandilands, who lives in Falcutt near Helmdon, is gearing up for only the third public airing of his work – and the first was more than ten years ago.
A life spent travelling the world at the whim of his profession in insurance has meant he has rarely had the time to properly focus on his hobby but he now has a portfolio he thinks is up to scrutiny.
‘I’ve had a couple of exhibitions before, one in a gallery in Chipping Norton about ten years ago and another one in London,’ he said.
‘I guess it’s just taken time to build a body of work capable of being exhibited.’
His latest venture into the world of exhibitions will see his work adorn the walls of The Theatre, Chipping Norton, the kind of venue he has a particular fondness for.
‘Before art, I always wanted to be an actor,’ he said.
‘I was in a play at the Old Vic in London and was on stage with Helen Mirren – but she was playing Cleopatra and I was a spear carrier, so I decided not to pursue that path.
‘I love The Theatre, it’s a fascinating building and a lot of the work in this exhibition is drawings of part of the building.
I’d like to think even people who know it well won’t recognise some of the work. I’ve done a picture of the projector, for example, which is something I doubt a lot of people have seen.
‘I also really like the seats, I think they are beautifully designed. But if you’re rushing in to see a play or something you probably wouldn’t notice.
I used to travel a lot so I got used to drawing very quickly on a sketch pad.
‘I do a lot of drawings of machinery; I find aircrafts particularly beautiful, but really I draw whatever I’m drawn to.'
Mr Sandilands also works with watercolours and washes and sells his work at The Rowans Gallery in Brackley.
His new exhibition, called Eye Serene, opens at The Theatre next Thursday (25 March) and can be viewed during performances.
Banbury Guardian - 18 March 2010