Here’s to you Mrs Robinson
Maureen Robinson, a pensioner from Scarborough, has donated the £50,000 needed to keep Ray Lonsdale’s Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers as a permanent fixture on Marine Drive, North Bay.
The steel work depicts a former miner, who was one of the first Allied soldiers to enter the Belsen concentration camp on its liberation in World War II, sitting on a bench. It was loaned for one month by the artist but local resident, Jakki Willby, started a campaign to raise the money to keep it.
“I’ve been saving up for years to buy something for Scarborough and the opportunity has never risen,” Maureen said. “When we saw Freddie, I said, ‘This is dream come true. It seemed the perfect thing, as a thank you to Scarborough… and for the happy years we have spent here.”
A steel fabricator from Durham, sculpture has always been Ray Lonsdale’s passion. Following the achievement of winning The People’s Award within the Hanging Jury Competition 2003 in Newcastle, Ray is now receiving increasing acclaim and attention for his highly distinctive and thought provoking work. His collections to date show the sculptor’s fascination with the human form. Built from steel, his work conveys incredible sensitivity and emotion, often providing deep moments of reflection.
Ray’s web presence is ‘Two Red Rubber Things’. As an arts entity it will not appeal to everyone (and nor should it). It has to be allowed to be what it is and to develop in its own direction or be forever restricted by compromise. The people who buy into this and ‘get’ the concept beyond the aesthetic can enjoy the emotion or story behind a pieces creation.
There is always a good reason for doing art. ‘Two Red Rubber Things‘ is derived from a ‘create or explode’ moment and there can’t be a more suitable reason for its manifestation. Its purpose is to connect with people on a level that its creator struggles with and to ignore the ‘what will people think’ mentality, while it screams toward wherever it is going.