A brush with Ken Loach

A portrait of filmmaker Ken Loach by Richard Twose, an artist based near Bath, will go on show at the city’s Victoria Art Gallery from 2 October.

On loan from the artist, the large (200 x 150 cm) picture was a follow-up to a portrait commissioned by Oxford University. During the sittings, the men shared many conversations about politics and football, Loach being a very keen supporter of Bath City FC. In the picture, the bird is a reference to Loach’s film Kes and the three-legged dog is a motif that Twose spotted in several of Loach’s films.

Ken Loach by Richard Twose S
Ken Loach by Richard Twose 

The work was featured in the 2017 BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Councillor Paul Myers, cabinet member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “We are very grateful to Richard Twose for lending this impressive portrait to the Victoria Art Gallery, where residents and visitors will be able to see it for free. It is good so see a local artist exhibiting a portrait of another local – Ken Loach, who has twice won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.”

After studying 3D Design at the University of Creative Arts in Farnham, Twose became a jewellery designer in London, selling his collections worldwide to stores such as Barneys in New York, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

He also designed bespoke collections for Ally Capellino, Margaret Howell and Paul Smith as well as one-off pieces for clients including Sting, Joan Collins, Theo Fennell and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones.

In 2000, he decided to close his jewellery business and moved to a village south of Bath. Whilst teaching art and history of art at a sixth form college in Bristol he began to paint portraits.

From 2009 his work was exhibited at galleries in Bristol and Bath. In 2011 he won the Bath Society of Artists’ Victoria Prize at the Victoria Art Gallery and was invited to become a member of the Society. In 2014 he was awarded second prize in the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery. He has twice been commissioned to paint portraits for Oxford University.

The portrait of Ken Loach will go on display from 2 October in the Victoria Art Gallery’s upper gallery, which is free to visit.