Ottery DJ-turned artist Richard Kaye holds exhibition of his art in Lyme Regis

PUBLISHED: 15:00 07 August 2018

Communications mast, by Richard Kaye. Picture: Contributed

Communications mast, by Richard Kaye. Picture: Contributed


Former DJ who toured the world with indie-rock band Ash is now an artist and has an unusual exhibition in Lyme Regis

Roof of Waterloo Station, by Richard Kaye. Picture: ContributedRoof of Waterloo Station, by Richard Kaye. Picture: Contributed

An exhibition of unusual art by Ottery DJ-turned-artist Richard Kaye, focusing on subjects including cranes, telegraph poles and scaffolding, opens in Lyme Regis on Friday, August 17.

Richard has been living in Ottery St Mary with his family for 13 years, and in recent years has developed an interest in printmaking, the technique used in this showcase of his work.

He originally trained at Bournemouth College of Art after leaving school, but then began DJ-ing and was invited to support the indie-rock band Ash, under his DJ name of Dick Kurtaine, in London in 1998. He ended up touring the world with them, performing on the main stage at Glastonbury and appearing on Top of the Pops.

“They were a lovely bunch of people and it’s an amazing period in my life to look back on,” he said. “It’s something that I would never regret or forget.”

Richard Kaye, printing. Picture: ContributedRichard Kaye, printing. Picture: Contributed

Returning to his original interest in art, Richard developed a fixation on print-making, and it was then that he also became captivated by bold, angular silhouettes against the sky, often formed by urban structures. He now creates screen prints of these stark images, and hand-tints them with watercolours.

“I was looking at the man-made things that people don’t notice – telegraph poles, scaffolding, communication masts, even cranes, they all became fascinating,” he said.

Among the local structures that feature in his work are the communications mast near the Hare & Hounds pub on the Sidmouth to Honiton road, the Stockland Hill telecoms mast and plenty of telegraph poles and scaffolding.

And he does not rule out the possibility that his experience touring with Ash, performing on huge stages with angular metal equipment overhead, may have fed into his later creative inspiration.

Tree, by Richard Kaye. Picture: ContributedTree, by Richard Kaye. Picture: Contributed

“Some of those massive light trusses were very similar to the structures that fascinate me now. But I wasn’t actively capturing those images.”

One set of images Richard has enjoyed capturing has been his drawings of people who have fallen asleep on trains, which also forms part of the exhibition.

He recalls how once, one of his subjects woke up and they began talking. “We got on really well and had similar interests, and it turned out that he ran a record label.” The man asked to see Richard’s drawing, and was so impressed that he photographed it and used it as his Facebook profile picture.

Richard Kaye’s exhibition takes place at The Malthouse Gallery and is open from 10.30 to 4.30.

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