Thursday, June 07, 2007

Gabbidon on canvas

Colin Gabbidon's first solo exhibition of his paintings and drawings kicked off last night with a gathering of friends and fellow artists at The Drum in Aston, Birmingham. He's called his collection of 21 exhibits, Birmingham & the People Of, and has captured various scenes from the last century to the present day in and around the city of Birmingham. His exhibits are in oils, pastels, water colours and pencil drawings and include portraits of himself, his wife Sylvia and his own personal favourite painting, the Arboretum in Walsall, in oils, and on sale for £1,800. Each of the exhibits can be bought and if enough interest is shown, Colin will provide limited edition prints of some of his work. Colin spoke about his art and answered a bevy of questions from the audience, recalling how his passion for drawing began with his first attempt, a painting of a tea plantation from his native Jamaica, and how his preference today is for pen and ink drawings. The exhibition is a small part of his collection and his inspiration was to capture the incredible changes to Britain's second city before and after his arrival in the early 1960s. I'm not a connoisseur of art by any stretch of the imagination but even I can see that Colin has a fantastic eye for detail and his exhibits are full of rich and vibrant colours and beautifully drawn scenes such as the pencil drawings of early 20th century Birmingham, Coventry and Sutton. The exhibition is open until 29 June and Colin can be contacted on 0121 554 8447 (studio), 07970 346370 (mobile) or by e-mail.

Another of Colin's talents is as a drummer and a founder member of one of the world's best reggae bands, Steel Pulse as well as groups like Dessus, Bass Dance and now Gabbidon. So it was fitting that his brother Basil Gabbidon and singer Leonie Moore should perform five acoustic numbers to accompany the exhibition, including everyone's favourite Bob Marley track, Redemption Song. The band Gabbidon have their next gig in Hereford on 14 July and Basil has an album that is very near to completion. Leonie has also changed her surname from Smith to Moore and as well as working with Gabbidon and Legend, will also form a duo with Indigo from next month, called Rainy Days and Mondays.

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