The man…..

Anthony Green died on 1st December 2003.

The following biography is taken from the obituary in his local paper the Herald Express, written by friend and journalist John Clamp.

I'm privileged to have counted Tony Green among the people I've known. 
He was an inspiration and example to the often fragmented and unfocused arts scene in South Devon. 
The co-founder of C Visual Arts and of the Torbay Visual Art Festival, Tony proved that if you fought hard enough you could make fruit grow from infertile soil. 

Not only was he an accomplished artist in his own right, he was also a tireless campaigner for the arts who was forever cajoling and encouraging, spreading the word about the crucial role the arts play in civilised society. 

Tony was born in Harrow in July 1939, one of six children. 
He grew up in London but in his early 20s came to Torbay, where he fell in love with the place, and with local girl Megan Mills. 

An interest in painting and sculpture regularly took him to St Ives, where the thriving art scene inspired him in his own work, which he created when he wasn't painting and decorating or labouring. 

But it wasn't until Tony went to Exeter Open College in 1990 that his talent was fully recognised. Tony's tutor Nick Eastwood was so impressed that he entered Tony's work for the Lady Sacha Young Prize, administered by the prestigious St Martin's College of Art. Tony won. 

Having spent most of his adult life in Torbay, in 1998 Tony moved with Megan to Dartmouth, where he indulged his love of painting the River Dart. 

Tony's style could vary from impressionistic landscapes to strongly abstracted and richly coloured canvases. Both found favour: his images of the Dart sold well in galleries in South Devon, while for a number of years he exhibited the full range of his work at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, where his pieces were snapped up. 

Tony always encouraged talent and was an enthusiastic participant in community initiatives. Having designed the now legendary production of the Torbay Tempest from an empty unit in Fleet Walk, he turned it into a gallery for new work and would encourage students from Dartington College, among others, to exhibit there. 

His biggest achievement, which grew from the C Visual Arts co-operative formed in 1999, was the Torbay Visual Art Festival, which has been running now for four years and which has a reputation for showcasing the huge variety of work which artists from South Devon and further afield are creating. 

Tony was a firebrand until the end. Despite being ravaged by prostate and then bone cancer, he still took on a leading role in organising this year's Art Festival at the Spanish Barn, and also collected work he'd created, spanning four decades, for a more recent retrospective exhibition. 

Tony died peacefully, aged 64, at Torbay Hospital last Monday(1st December 2003), his family by his bedside. He leaves his wife Megan, daughter Sarah and son Mark, as well as three much-loved grandchildren. 
Sarah told OTT: "My father was and always will be, in my mind, an angry young man. 
"He never understood mediocrity and never accepted it. 
"If you weren't passionate about something then why be here. 
"He could be scary sometimes, but in his art and in his heart he would want people around him to appreciate and experience vibrancy and texture. 

"Quality of life was everything to him: a swim in the sea, good food, music and most important of all, his family. 
"We once wrote a screenplay together entitled Don't Die Wondering. I think it's a fitting epitaph. 
"He's been an inspiration to me and all those around him. We must celebrate his life and follow our dreams. 
"He will be sorely, sorely missed." 

JOHN CLAMP – HERALD EXPRESS, DECEMBER 2003

 

ANTHONY GREEN – EXHIBITIONS AND PROJECTS

EXHIBITIONS AND COMMISSIONS

1994  Southwark Park SE1
Richards Building, Exeter University

1995
St Martin’s School of Art, London
Exeter Museum
Winter Gardens, Torquay
Commissioned by Grosvenor Smythe Shipping Company

1996
Royal College of Arts
The Gallery, Fleet Walk

1997
Reed Hall Gallery, Exeter University
Lorenzo Photographer, London
Grosvenor Smythe Shipping Company

1998
Guiness Hop House, Dublin

1999 Bridge Gallery, Dublin
Kinnersley Kent Design - Commission.

2000
C Visual Arts Festival, Torbay
Straw Project - South Hams
The Mall Gallery Youth Charity Project - London.
 
2001 Dartmouth Art Festival (organiser as well as exhibitor)
Beatrice Royal Gallery, Southhampton
C- Visual Art Festival, Torbay
Straw Project. South Hams. Artist in residence.
The Mall Gallery. London.
Dart Mariner Hotel, Dartmouth. -Commission

2002  Greenway Gallery (former home to Agatha Christie)
Gallery 28, St Ives. -Commision
Straw Project. South Hams
Mall Gallery, London.
Chelsea Building Society.

2003 Fowey Gallery – commission
Spanish Barn, Torquay – a restrospective

 

THEATRE AND COMMUNITY, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
 

1992 Helped design and build the set and furniture for the Devon Shakespeare
Project’s community production of The Winter’s Tale dir: Clarissa Brown RSC.
 
1994 Designed and built a set for the Westcountry Theatre Company’s
production of Romeo & Juliet.

1995 
Designed and built the set for the Torbay Tempest, a community play by the
Colway Theatre Trust.

2000 
Torbay Pageant, set design and construction.
 
2001 Marks & Spencer Mural, Torquay
 
2002  Ace Project, Mental and Physically handicapped
Totum Pole Artwork, Brixham Community College
Torre Abbey Experience - 800yrs History/visual art project with 250 children.
Blind Experince, creating tactile and oral artwork.
 

Reference:
“Tony Green is one of those rare people who, taking up painting as a mature student, has exhibited phenomenal insight, style and technique which relates firmly to movements in modernism. He paints on a large scale and his work is both provocative and dynamic. One of his great abilities is that he has both talent and boundless energy and it is probably these qualities which are most important in his proposed venture to develop some community arts activity in and around Torquay. He is a very well organised person and is very keen in promoting and working in the arts close to the community. I have no reservation whatsoever recommending him to you as a person of great insight, dynamic energy and a real concern for community arts in todays largely unsympathetic climate for these activities.” Robin Mitchell, Chair of Art and Design. University of Exeter.