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Local artist

 

A local artist is courageously exhibiting his artwork in the town this month after only one year of painting.

49-year-old Maidstone teacher turned artist Luis Lozano is currently exhibiting his work at County Hall, Maidstone and is displaying 13 paintings, which he has only produced in the last twelve months.

"Some people think I am a bit arrogant for exhibiting so soon, but I am late starter and cannot afford to waste time. If I am not ready by 49 years of age when will I be ready?

The exhibition is called “Echoes of Flesh,” It is his first solo exhibition following from group exhibitions at Mall Galleries, London and Guildford Cathedral.

Mr. Lozano was introduced to painting as art therapy at a clinic run by the charity Combat Stress, an organisation that supports veterans with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and depression. Mr. Lozano was a former infantryman who served with 3rd Battalion Queen’s Regiment in Northern Ireland from 1988-1990.

“At combat stress they stick a paint brush in your hand and tell you to paint your nightmares.”

The exhibition comprises of 13 figurative paintings composed of oils, acrylics and chalks on canvas, some up to 2 meters wide and is being held at the Gallery, County Hall, which is open Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm.

“At the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, there are paintings there made up of excretia, hair, blood, mud and make up. An artist should not be fussy about what he uses as a medium to get his message across.”

The exhibition runs until 26th September and as well as highlighting the artists’ ability, Luis hopes it will shine a light on the treatment of veterans with PTSD.

“There is an army of ex-service personnel whose lives have been blighted by their undiagnosed condition. The government has a responsibility to ensure that service personnel are well before they are discharged and not leave it up to charities to pick up the pieces of broken lives.”

Asked what his plans are for the future Mr. Lozano said, “I plan to paint and paint and paint. It is like discovering you have a voice, now I cannot stop singing.”

Mr. Lozano’s next solo exhibition is in Lydd Library, Romney Marsh Art and Craft Gallery, during December 2013 and January 2014.  His work can also be seen during November at the Deli Café, Maidstone Museum as part of a group exhibition with Maidstone Visual Arts Network.

 

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