We are pleased to be hosting an exhibition by former Geevor miner and renowned artist Rod Walker.
Rod was born in West Kirby, Cheshire and studied painting and sculpture at Epsom College of Art from 1961. He moved to West Cornwall in 1970 establishing a studio in Botallack.
In 1971 Rod approached Geevor Tin Mines looking for a job, although he was not too hopeful as he knew little about mining; however, much to his surprise, he was asked to report the following Monday! Rod started as a general underground labourer performing various tasks as required before moving on to a tramming contract.
Within the first week of his time at Geevor, Rod had suffered several injuries which brought home the hazards of the job. However, his time at Geevor provided Rod with a great way of integrating into the local community where he still lives to this day. His time underground influenced his work throughout his life; his first three patrons were all miners. His time at Geevor came to an end after a fatal accident involving a fellow miner which caused him to reassess the job. After leaving the mine Rod worked in various trades including deep sea/inshore fishing, building and farming.
In 1983 Rod travelled to Italy to study Icon painting, returning in 1985 to teach at the Penzance School of Art. In 1987 he made his first visit to India eventually returning to Cornwall to teach at Falmouth College of Art in 1989. His time at Falmouth College of Art included an award to study Hinduism in India and in 1997 he and his family travelled extensively in India, Nepal and Thailand.
Rod has worked with local primary schools and as part of various community art projects. He has also lectured at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Rod has a long established history of displaying his work in the UK especially locally in Cornwall. His work has also taken him to France and the USA.
Rod says of his work:
“My painting is figurative, that is, its roots and inspirations are to be found in the world around me. I use simple themes and subjects. I try not to copy reality, but rather establish a relationship with it – altering and developing the colours, shapes and meanings to allow a deeper understanding of the image. My concerns are many and varied. I simply attempt to produce the works which seem most important to me at the time.”
In view of Rod’s connections with Geevor we are delighted to be hosting his exhibition and wish him every success.
As Kenneth Gilbert the former managing director of Geevor said to Rod as he left in 1972:
“You’ll come back, they all do.”