OLD slate which used to adorn rooftops is now hanging on the walls at Grey College in Durham.
This most functional of stones is the inspiration behind Bob Barron’s art pieces.
Born in County Durham, Bob, 54, studied at Sunderland College of Art before having his work exhibited across the country.
With Almost 50 solo and group collections to his name, his private collections include Chelmsford and Essex Art Gallery, The Mall Galleries, London, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle, Frost and Reed Gallery, London and Gateshead Civic Centre.
He also boasts private arts collections in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
Bob said: “I work with slate because of the age and nature of the material. Of sedimentary origin, it was formed on the beds of ancient seas until eventually quarried by man to provide shelter from the winds and the rain.
“The slate I use has served this purpose and is eroded and marked by this exposure to the elements as well as by man-made pollutants in the atmosphere.
“I am interested in the journey from the seabed to the quarry, from the quarry to the rooftop, and from the rooftop to the artwork.
“If my work is about anything, I think it may be an attempt to express vague musings about the passage of time made corporeal through certain images surfaces and textures.”
He added: “It’s an honour to be exhibiting at Grey College, which has established a growing national reputation for excellent art collections.”
The collection, which is open to the public and free to view, is called The Art of Bob Barron and runs until Sunday, March 10.
Exhibition organiser Henry Dyson, Keeper of Fine Art and Fellow of Grey College at Durham University, said: “Bob Barron is, in my opinion, one of the most imaginative artists in Durham.
“Using slate, distressed cardboard and collage, his work reflects his interest in astronomy, anthropolgy, physics, classical art and time as experienced by transient human beings in a vast and seemingly infinite universe.
“Bob’s pictures are intellectually challenging and thought provoking, yet aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable. This is a very important exhibition because of his innovative use of unusual materials like worn roof slates and other products not normally used in graphic art.”
Mr Dyson added: “He successfully communicates his deep response to the big issues of life with images of powerful beauty.”
All of the paintings displayed will be for sale.
* Viewing at Grey College is weekends 11am to 4pm and on week-day visits are strictly by appointment only.
Contact Joyce Dover on Tel. 334 5638 to book. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org