Artists raise £3k for men’s mental health
More than 200 pieces of artwork and prints created by Ramsgate artist Peter A Leigh have been sold to support mental health and art groups in the town.
Peter took his own life in 2022 and a group of artists worked hard over the summer to create three exhibitions of his work to generate income for two causes close to his heart.
Peter’s work encompassed painting, drawing, print making, sculpture and installation. Although eclectic, his aesthetic was consistently colourful, abstract and graphic – referencing pop art, cubism and art povera.
Event organisers Lucy Troubridge, Ruth Rollason and Russell Chater decided to raise funds through the sale of this work with three concurrent exhibitions of Peter’s art. The shows was entitled: ‘Peter A Leigh: A Life’s Work’.
Proceeds from the sales of Peter’s work have been split between Arts in Ramsgate, a not-for-profit inclusive space that runs creative and well-being sessions with and for the local community, and East Kent Mind. Each cause received more than £3,000. The organisers believe this will bring a positive note to a truly tragic story. Having Peter’s work go out into the local community and hopefully beyond will also be a fitting legacy to a much loved and respected artist who would have been 60 this year.
Lucy said: “The biggest thank you is to everyone who came to tyhe exhibitions and who bought art work. We were overwhelmed with the responce.”
Ruth said: “The Money raised will help two good causes and provide to support to men’s mental health , which is so important.”
Simon Dolby from East Kent Mind said: “The hard work and dedication of Russell, Lucy and Ruth to create the exhibitions of Peter’s work ensured he left a lasting legacy to the town. We are so grateful to receive a share of the funds raised and will use it to support our work with men’s mental health.”
Although passionate about art throughout his life, Peter A Leigh (1963-2022) was late to formally study due to being a full-time carer for his mother (herself an accomplished artist).
Peter achieved a first-class BA Fine Art degree from UCA Canterbury in 2020 and had started a MA Fine Art degree also at UCA Canterbury in 2022. Along with his long-term partner David, Peter had moved to Ramsgate in 2016, and the two were very active in the community – supporting many creative, charitable and LGBTQIA+ causes. The pair were also incredibly supportive of, and devoted to, each other – with Peter in particular supporting David who had a number of underlying health conditions including COPD and diabetes.
These conditions would prove fatal, as David passed away from Covid-related issues in October 2022, just one day before he and Peter were due to be formally married. The tragedy of this proved too much for Peter, who had suffered mental health issues throughout his life, and he took his own life just a few days later.
The couple have left behind many grief-stricken family members and friends, while Peter has also left behind a huge body of art work.
Lucy Troubridge, added: “Peter and I exhibited together three times in the year until he passed. He was my beautiful dapper chapper! Working with him was so natural, fascinating and fun. I miss him every day, but he continues to be my inspiration to keep creating. It is an honour to be involved in exhibiting his works to raise money for such worthy causes. Knowing he will live on through his artwork is not only a comfort to me, but more importantly, gives him the legacy he so rightfully deserves.”