A mature Arts student who recently completed a piece in memory of the Grenfell Tower disaster, is preparing for his second solo exhibition in a matter of months!

Ed Roberts, who is just about to complete his Foundation Degree in Art and Design at Coleg Llandrillo's Rhos-on-Sea campus, recently displayed a selection of his woodcut designs at Llandudno Library. Such was the success of this showcase, Ed has landed another individual exhibition at Colwyn Bay Library later in the summer.

Ed, who is now retired, has been studying at the college for a number of years and will be graduating this summer. His work has a great deal of local interest, as it depicts stories, memories and characters from the Rhyl and North Wales areas, detailing and depicting a bygone era.

He was born in Nottingham, but grew up in Rhyl, as his father was originally from the coastal town. Ed has been living in Abergele for the last 30 years.

He uses lino cuts and wood blocks, cutting into them before starting to paint. He was inspired by early twentieth century German impressionists. He has recently completed a piece as a tribute to all those that lost their lives and homes during the Grenfell Tower disaster in London last summer. 30 years ago, Ed was burning polystyrene on site, when he became ill because of the toxic gas that was released…this was his inspiration.

His interest in painting and drawing began at primary school, and at the age of 15, he became a joiner. At that time, as Ed puts it,

I now had the tools.

After retiring, Ed had both hips replaced. After recuperating, he wanted to keep active, both physically and mentally, so he enrolled on an Arts course at Coleg Lllandrillo.

Ed said:

I aim to make images that remind me of the way things used to be. My woodcuts are views of my past and I wanted them to have a feel of growing up in North Wales. The scenes depict the mid-50s to the mid-60s. When I started work in 1962, our firm had still used a handcart. By the end of the 1960s, everyone had a car!

College has been really enjoyable; it has improved my techniques immeasurably. I would recommend it to anyone of any age. I haven't finished yet, as I am looking at doing some print classes in the evening at the college.

His tutor, Wendy Dawson, said:

We have been on a fantastic journey. His work is mainly autobiographical and speaks for the area. He is interested in the political side and has captured the changing times. It has been great having Ed with us on the degree course.

His next exhibition in Colwyn Bay will be just around the time he graduates so a perfect way for him to showcase the work he's done here over the last few years to a local audience.

For more information on our courses in Art and Design, contact the college's Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.

Email: enquiries.llandrillo@gllm.ac.uk