Ramsgate art exhibitions to celebrate the life of local artist Peter A Leigh

Three art exhibitions in Ramsgate are running in August to celebrate the life and work of local artist Peter A Leigh. The three concurrent events are from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th August, at Radford House, Arts in Ramsgate and Hold Creative Spaces.

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 – approximately 200 pieces.

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 will simply be entitled: ‘Peter A Leigh: A Life’s Work’.

All are welcome to visit and the public will see the breadth and quality of Peter’s practice, which 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.

His Instagram account is: www.instagram.com/peter_a_leigh_art/

Proceeds from sales will be 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. The organisers hope 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.

If you would like to support the exhibition, you can donate at their GoFundMe page here: GoFundMe: Peter A Leigh exhibition

Lucy Troubridge, one of the organisers of the event, said: “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.”

For information about the events and locations, please visit:

Radford House: www.ramsgatetown.org/our-community/radfordhouse
Arts In Ramsgate: www.artsinramsgate.org.uk
Hold Creative Spaces: www.holdcreativespaces.co.uk