Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Sunrise, by Tom O’Brien.

O’Brien and Cox put on art show at His Place church

Seeking new outlets for their creative energies, writer Tom O’Brien and ex-councillor Ruby Cox have come together to mount an art exhibition at His Place community church. Nick Terdre gets a preview.

Tom O’Brien has a passion for landscapes and works mostly with acrylic on canvas.“I only started painting after my wife, Margaret, died in 2020,” he told HOT. “I had done some pen and ink drawings back in the 1970’s but hadn’t done any painting until now.

Daydreaming, by Tom O’Brien.

To be honest, I found it liberating and it gave me something to motivate myself for after the loss of my wife.

I am a writer/playwright and found that the words had deserted me, hence the ‘dabbling’. I have been writing for 30+ years, and it was quite a shock to find that I was struggling to do it  any more.”

A native of Co Waterford in Ireland, Tom has had many plays performed in London, Ireland and the US. His play Down Bottle Alley, based on the life of local alcoholic and writer Brian Harding, proved a sell-out at the White Rock Theatre.

Ruby Cox

Ruby Cox took to the canvas after defeat in May’s local elections released her from duties as a local councillor and deputy mayor. Back in the 1970s she studied sculpture at St Martin’s School of Art in London but only took up painting after moving to Hastings six years ago, where she got involved with the Hastings Arts Forum. She works mostly from photographs.

“I have always been fascinated by empty buildings and the slow process of their dissolving into the landscape as nature takes over…empty spaces also fascinate me,” she said.

The Light Inside, by Ruby Cox.

“I think what I enjoy most about painting is that it really teaches me to look. That may sound obvious, but every time I work on a new painting, as I get further and further into it I see more and more — details I may have missed, colours that seem impossible but which are there in front of me, the beauty in everyday objects like a rusty piece of metal.

That’s why it takes me so long to finish anything, because I keep seeing more and more and don’t want to leave anything out!”

Donations are requested from visitors to the exhibition, with proceeds going to the church building repair fund.


Art Exhibition by Tom O’Brien and Ruby Cox His Place community church, Robertson Street, Hastings TN34 1HL, Saturday 16-Saturday 30 July (open 10am-3pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 10am-1pm Tuesday). Cheese and wine evening with live music, 5-9pm, Thursday 21 July. Admission by donation, proceeds to the church building repair fund.


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Posted 10:32 Saturday, Jul 9, 2022 In: Visual Arts

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