FLESH: THE GREAT ILLUSION An exhibition celebrating the life and work of Ronald Wright

This week I had the pleasure of attending the PV of the above show at The Schwartz Gallery in East London. The show has been organised by Georgina Starr and Paul Noble and what a fascinating visual biography they have sifted through and curated.

It was an interesting journey through a man’s life and a great reminder that life is fluid and anything is possible. Ronald Wright has journeyed from being an artist drawing film stars, to creating some great drawings of the idealised 1950’s man for a number of underground gay magazines, to becoming a male model himself and to more recently stepping into the world of spiritual healing.

There was so much to engage with in the show. I really enjoyed the drawings of the male encounters for the magazines. What once seems risqué then holds a certain charm when looking back from our more sexually liberated times. Wright’s reminiscences alongside the images of his drawings in the film are encapsulating.

As you move round the gallery you then come to the tables of letters from pet owners contacting Wright for healing for their beloved animal, some more detailed than others and some replying to advise that the healing has been successful. The contrast of the images of Wright wearing the cloth and cross of a spiritual healer seems a big leap from his younger days of modelling.

To finish the show off Georgina has re-built the living room of Ronald Wright in the gallery. I understand that the objects in the room have all been transported from his home in Hertfordshire for the duration of the show. It is an inviting space where I would happily sit and have a drink with Ronald to hear his stories.

Thank you for bringing this man to  new audience and celebrating his unusual and varied life. It is almost as if Ronald Wright’s life is an ever unfolding work of art in itself.

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