Dave and Neil’s arty double act

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Marine-Ville by Richard Adams

What do pupil magician Harry Potter, chef Heston Blumenthal and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins have in common? They have all collaborated with Dave McKean, who has two drawings on show in this year’s Rye Society of Arts (RSA) summer exhibition on Conduit Hill, in the Dance Hall behind the Community Centre.

McKean is probably most famous for his work with Neil Gaiman, an internationally renowned writer of short stories, comic books and novels – and, if you don’t know who Gaiman is, you are showing your age.

The two drawings by McKean are worth noting because they were illustrations for Smoke and Mirrors by Gaiman, with whom McKean has collaborated on many occasions including the comic book series The Sandman and The Wolves in the Walls, a 2003 graphic novel. They also worked together on the film Mirrormask in 2005 and McKean contributed to the film Luna in 2014 and to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban back in 2004.

Gaiman’s ‘s book The Ocean at the End of the Lane was Book of the Year in the 2013 British National Book awards and The Graveyard Book picked up Newbery and Carnegie Medals in 2008. McKean’s credits are also wide-ranging and include director, writer, composer, editor, animator and producer. More information is available here.

Tooth Hairy by Matt Hardman - detail
Tooth Hairy by Matt Hardman – detail

McKean is one of the newer members of RSA, which is made up of practising artists living and working within a 15 mile radius of Rye and in his spare moments, as well as making films, he designs stamps, illustrates books and plays jazz piano. His two drawings Desert Wind (a man holding a lizard) and Virus (a man holding a distorted disc) are both priced at £1,900 each.

Many other well-known artists are featured in the show. Richard Adams’ chalk pastel Marine-Ville (shown above) is well worth seeing and priced at £5,650. Matt Hardman, who has a set of devoted fans, has a number of items on display, including his mixed media Tooth Hairy (right) priced at £425.

The RSA show, at the Dance Hall behind the Community Centre, is open every day until August 31, 10:30am-5:30pm. Admission is 50p, 20p for concessions and is free for children. All the exhibits mentioned above can be found in the Upper Gallery and visitors should ask for the full list of numbered exhibits and prices.

Photos: Seana Lanigan