The local Art world is mourning the passing of Neil Murison RWA, one of our best loved and influential artists. Despite not living in the area, Neil has been the President of Clevedon Art Club for over 30 years. He loved his association with the club and his charming presence at so many club events will be so sorely missed by it's members.
Born in 1930, Neil was a student at the West of England College of Art, before teaching at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital and the Blue Coat School in Bristol. He later became a lecturer at the West of England College of Art retiring in 1987 as Head of Foundation Studies at Bower Ashton which was then part of Bristol Polytechnic. He was a full Member of the Royal West of England Academy of Art from 1979 and was Director of The New Gallery at The Academy from 2003-09. He was made an Honorary Member in 2000.
Neil described himself as a "visual sensualist" he said: 'My work is strongly based in nature. I keep sketchbooks and take endless photographs on my travels and am never short of source material’. Neil loved travelling his first visit to the Caribbean was to Grenada in 1984 and he became totally enchanted by the sea, sand and palms. This interest in the tropical landscape was subsequently developed in Tobago, Kenya, Goa, Thailand and Sri Lanka. He worked in acrylic, using it sometimes like watercolour and sometimes opaquely like oil, but always rich in colour. His paintings have natural life and style and he is totally compulsive about his work. It reflects all the countries he has visited and he constantly returns to this love affair he has with the tropics. His work also includes sumptuous flower paintings, colourful landscapes and figurative interpretation. Neil said that each trip abroad prompted its own response and produced paintings which would reflect the memory of that experience.
Neil exhibited extensively in galleries throughout the United Kingdom, France and Germany, and his work is represented in private collections in Georgia and Florida in the United States. He has had over forty solo shows since 1963 and his paintings are in the collections of the Bank of America in London and Amsterdam, Merchant Bank of Scotland, Government of Portugal, Oxford University, the Contemporary Art Society of Wales, Bath University and other notable corporate institutions.
As President of Clevedon Art Club for over 30 years Neil Murison gave constant encouragement to the local art community, especially with the Clubs Summer Open Exhibition, held locally each August. Neil was a wise, experienced hand, guiding the art club from a distance, coming to the fore at the Open Exhibition, awarding the President’s Choice to a different artist each year. He regularly held workshop days at his impressive house and grounds and was generous in allowing the Clubs members to have free-rein of his land. His help and enthusiasm for the Club has seen it grow and gain stature in the region through its Exhibitions and activities. Neil was a fine, dedicated artist, a sympathetic, knowledgeable tutor and Head of Foundation, a man loyal to family and friends, and a wise, kind, gentlemanly person. Clevedon Art Club Members are very proud to have called Neil Murison “Our President”