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The artist taking inspiration from Cornwall

Based at home in North Hill, up-and-coming local painter Robert Crowther has already gained respect as an artist, with well-known pieces gracing the interior walls of Launceston Leisure Centre.

Robert with his work in the leisure centre

Having only started ‘seriously’ pursuing his talent for art last year, the future certainly looks bright for this local creative.

At the end of 2023, Robert was shortlisted for the prestigious King Lear Prize, an award paying homage to the talents and work of older creatives, run by King Lear Arts: a recognition which he described as ‘encouraging’.

But how did Robert plunge himself into the art world? He has had a long career making children’s pop-up books - his ‘bread and butter’ - before deciding to delve into painting at the start of last year.

With the recent relaunch of Launceston Leisure Centre, Robert was asked to come up with two pieces to represent the heart of the leisure centre community, which have since proved popular. As the centre

undergoes important renovations, his ‘Going Home Trees’ piece has been loaned to Lifton Strawberry Fields for display.

Robert is now working on a piece inspired by the Cornish song 'Cousin Jack'

The local area certainly inspires Robert’s artwork, although he tries to steer away from the typical Cornish scenes that are created so often: “I think I have phases; I like sunsets and anything Cornish, but a lot of painters seem to paint seascapes, so I’m trying to veer away from that to focus on places and people that mean something to me.

“I’ve had this yearning to do something Cornish for a while now, and there’s a folk band, Show of Hands, that has a song called ‘Cousin Jack’, written by Steve Knightley, which is about Cornish miners emigrating all over the world in the 19th century. They vary the places they namecheck - Redruth, Camborne, Wadebridge, Padstow - so that has been quite inspiring, visually.”

The piece that ‘Cousin Jack’ has inspired is still in the making, but will ultimately feature a series of postcards that portray the landmarks, people and times of the song’s story, and pay tribute not only to the song, but the miners at the heart of the story.

Robert added: “I’ve been lucky; Mark at the leisure centre gave me the impetus to start, and so I owe everything to that. Watch this space!”


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