Ray Lowry exhibition

Originally uploaded by fred pipes
I love my bus pass! When I was Up North last week, I used it to visit houses in Toxteth and Egremont lived in by my Grandfather (still amazingly in existence), and to reach the tiny Lancashire town of Crawshawbooth to visit the Ray Lowry exhibition at the See Gallery. It's incredibly sad that I'd only heard of this exhibition because he'd died, and sadder still that he won't profit from the sales of his artwork (but he does have a son I believe). Along with Bill Tidy and Larry, R Lowry was a great influence - I loved his surreal scratchy drawings in NME and Punch, but know nothing about him, apart from his unhealthy interest in the nazis! I was in Rawtenstall anyway, riding the East Lancs steam railway, so on the advice of gallery owner Julian Williams, caught the X43 bus along part of 'The Witch Way' towards Pendle. The gallery was easy to find, in an Oddfellows Hall and I was taken aback by the crisp gorgeous oils he'd started painting of Manchester (aiming to become 'the other Lowry'). Around the corner were the cartoons I'd known, loved and laughed at. And there were plenty more up the stairs, including folders full in the photographic studio up top. I got a cup of tea, but had to be quick browsing so as to catch the bus back. I bought one depicting Bob Dylan trying to buy a drink at a bar. In another building were his large oils, incuding swasticas made from eggs and bacon and confectionery, an attempt to rehabilitate that bad symbol. Back in the gallery the curator of the Bluecoat in Liverpool was discussing the possiblity of moving the exhibition there. There were plenty of red dots tho, so it won't be the same. The bus driver on the way back was intrigued by my Brighton bus pass. Back in Rawtenstall I searched for Britain's last temperence bar to no avail - maybe it was shut on Saturdays? After buying some batteries at Boots, I got to the station to find the Duke of Gloucester had just pulled out, and the cafe was closing. And it was raining...

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