250 people visited the A.P.T Gallery on Thursday 16 April 2015 to celebrate the launch of ‘A Sore Head’, an artist-book by Robert Welch, published by Art in Perpetuity Trust.
Robert Welch is an artist-member of A.P.T who has been exhibiting in the UK and abroad for the past thirty years. In December 2011 he suffered a stroke, resulting in a loss of coherent speech. Encouraged by his partner Paula and his daughter Betty he began working on a series of drawings, whilst still in hospital. Friends brought in art materials when they came to visit and initially Robert could barely hold a pencil, but, as he regained control, though not sensation, he began to make different marks, and tried various ways of combining them.
In November 2013 Robert showed this body of work, along with new paintings, at A.P.T Gallery. The works were accompanied by comments he had dictated to his speech therapist, reflecting on the experience of being in hospital for eight weeks. They documented the thought processes that explained how the drawings developed over that time.
‘A Sore Head’ tells the story of Robert’s recovery and return to painting, after a life-changing event. It can be read as an examination into the fundamental nature of creative practice, showing the artist's process in a stripped back form.
The book features an introductory essay by friend and fellow A.P.T artist-member Mali Morris RA.
“I had expected to see a struggle, perhaps an ungainliness compared with the paintings made before the stroke. Instead I was looking at, falling into, works which were articulate, unfamiliar and completely absorbing.”
This publication coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the Art in Perpetuity Trust, and is the first artist book to be published by A.P.T.