In our society we have a tendency to look upon death and dying with a sideways glance. This exhibition – a series of powerful drawings by Daniel Fooks of his father on his death bed – tackles the issue head on.
Fooks was very close to his father and had drawn and painted him since childhood. Not only did he document his father’s chemotherapy treatment in 2014 but he got his permission to photograph and draw him when the time came for him to die. Chris Fooks died on 4th November 2016 at the age of 74.
“Witnessing the death of someone you love is a very strange and intense experience. What I saw that day left its mark and I knew I had to do something with it – it was like his last gift to me.”
Since his father’s death, Fooks has returned constantly to the subject, using his art as an aid to the process of grieving.
“I like to think that Art can defeat Death but who am I kidding… I am going to miss that old man every day for the rest of my life, and doing a few drawings isn’t going to sort that!”
Daniel Fooks is a Scottish artist known for his portraits of the actor Peter Capaldi, exhibited in The National Portrait Gallery. He has also drawn and painted well-known actors, writers and musicians including Billy Bragg, Raymond Briggs, Jonathan Meades, Kenneth Cranham, David Morrissey, Mark Cousins, Michael Palin and Olivia Coleman.
He currently lives and works in Surrey.
“Life-affirming drawings which are deeply moving and tender” – Alain de Botton
Gallery opening hours
Mon 19 Mar, 9am-5pm
Tue 20 Mar, 5.30-10pm
Wed 21 Mar, 5-6pm
Thu 22 Mar, closed
Fri 23 Mar, 6-9pm – meet the artist evening. Refreshments served.
Sat 24 Mar, closed
Sun 25 Mar, 9am-10pm
Mon 26 Mar, 9am-4pm
Tue 27 Mar, 9am-10pm
Wed 28 Mar, closed
Thu 29 Mar, 9am-5pm
Fri 30 Mar, closed for Bank Holiday
Sat 31 Mar, 9am-5pm