An exhibition currently showing at the Open University library is a wonderful recollection of memories of life as a child in wartime Somerset.
Syd Durston – a wee lad of seven years old at the outbreak of WWII – is the man behind the brush of the terrifically executed canvas creations.
His canny ability at the easel is even more endearing when you learn that Syd works from memory alone.
There are no props to be had, or photographs lingering close to his palette – he uses his mind’s eye.
Syd’s intuitive understanding of perspective and composition was realised when he was given a set of watercolours by his daughter.
Quite the Christmas present it turned out to be; In 2002 he presented his first major exhibition by invitation.
Owe Twerr – How It Was – was hosted in Bath at the Holborn Museum.
The main gallery was well ‘stocked’ at the time too, with old masters including Canaletto, Van Dyke and Gainsborough, and yet Syd’s work caused quite the stir with visitors, who were taken by the scenes of ‘real people living real lives set against 1940s rural Somerset landscapes.
Now it’s your turn to be duly impressed by his detailed observations of people and places now gone or changed forever.
The exhibition is open to the public until March 30 and Syd will be on hand from midday tomorrow (Fri) for a ‘meet the author event.
Opening times are Mon -Thurs, 9.30am-6pm and Fri, 9.30am-5pm.