Monday, February 21, 2011
A WESTON artist who overcame a £1,000-a-week cocaine habit to show his work alongside high profile British painters is spearheading a provocative new exhibition.
The Mercury reported last year how 33-year-old Jamie Scanlon won a 12-year battle with drink and drug problems to reinvent himself as an urban artist.
It is now seven months since Jamie kicked the destructive habit, which robbed him of friends, family ties and even his home, and his new life is taking another turn for the better, as he fronts a major new art exhibition.
He is the inspiration behind the Broken Britain show, a collaboration of trendy young British artists which is due to open at Bristol’s Centrespace Gallery on April 1 and then head to Warehouse 45 in London.
Two other Weston artists – Adam Porter and Lilly Hillage – will also be part of the show, which features major names from the modern art world including Mick Hockney, Mason Storm and Mark Crossey.
Jamie, who lives in Earlham Grove, told the Mercury: “I’m finding recovery a lot easier now, I guess because of the fact that life is so much better without all the rubbish.
“I really don’t want to go back. I truly believe that life is what you make it and if you spend your time aiming for the stars then you’ll still get higher than if you’d never tried.
“From this next exhibition I hope to further my credibility in the art world. I’m already proud of myself for how far I’ve come, after this exhibition I aim to display my work in the USA by the end of this year.
“I know that if I keep working and doing my best, I will get there.”
There will be an opportunity for Weston art lovers to view Jamie’s innovative pieces later this year – and also a chance for other up-and-coming Weston artists to get involved in his next show.
He continued: “I have a new range of ideas I’m currently working on, from painting through to sculptures, and feel my work gives out clear messages.
“I will be aiming to hold an exhibition in Weston around August so am looking for venues, and any local artists who would like a chance to be part of something can contact me.”
Anyone who wants to get involved with the event can contact Jamie, who is donating part of the proceeds from his exhibition to the Damilola Taylor Trust, through Facebook, where he is listed as Jamie Paul Scanlon.