Willesden artist gets show at last

Tin Danby’s debut exhibition will double-up as a retrospective of his work

AFTER decades organising exhibitions for his students, artist come activist, Tim Danby, has finally arranged one for himself.

Because despite having been painting for 30 years it would seem the Willesden-based painter has been too busy representing others to promote himself.

In his spare time Danby, who lives in Marley Walk, Willesden, has been a union rep - twice, a Respect party candidate, chair of a residents association and climate activist.

He will use the show at the Willesden Green Library Centre, in High Road, Willesden, as a retrospective of his work that includes posters and banners he painted for demonstrations to snapshots of his life and surroundings.

He said: “Seeing them all together is like a jigsaw of my life. The paintings could be things glimpsed whilst walking through a park, or some views may be laden with memories or personal histories. So I am using the show to see where my work is going.”

Willesden features heavily and is a place that he clearly holds dear having lived there for 30 years.

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Paintings of the post-office, Gladstone Park and the underground station will all feature.

He said: “Willesden is not pretentious. You get to know people when you are shopping and feel comfortable. I love the diversity. I wouldn’t move from here.”

He first visited in the mid-70s to join the Grunswick dispute as a young art student in Newcastle.

He said: “I was inspired by the strike. We have to make this world a better place. The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. So I think it’s better to do something than nothing.”

As an art teacher Danby is no doubt an inspiration to young people – even running a free workshop for GCSE art students during his exhibition – with a humble and positive attitude.

He said: “I’m not a natural painter, for every picture in the show there are 15 in the bin, but I get there eventually. I believe in doing art for myself.”

The exhibition runs from April 21 to May 13 and is open for viewing between 2 and 6pm.