Town artist's shock death

PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 January 2011

johnfiddes

johnfiddes

Archant

THE art community in Weston has been left in shock following the sudden death of a well-known artist over the festive period.

John Fiddes, aged 61, died of internal bleeding at Weston General Hospital on December 27, just two days after admitting himself because of a ‘dicky belly’.

His death spells the closure of The Art House in Orchard Street, a business he had run since 2001.

The shop was opened to showcase his artwork, but more recently expanded to give wall space to other artists living in the town.

This week his ex-wife Pamela and three children Daniel, Jamie and Fiona travelled to Weston to pay their respects.

Son-in-law Lee Parkinson, partner of Fiona, said: “John was an amazing artist who inspired anyone that knew him.

“His death was completely unexpected and has stunned the whole family, who loved him dearly.

“I know coming to Weston that he was a very popular man and we hope many people can come out and pay tribute at his funeral.”

Mr Fiddes worked for most his life as a printer before finally achieving his dream of opening a gallery at the turn of the millennium.

Living and working in Weston he became involved in the town’s art community, running classes and submitting work for exhibitions.

Last year he designed and painted a donkey as part of a business-sponsored initiative in the town to mark the 200th anniversary of tourism in the resort.

Mr Parkinson said: “John was a great artist who ran a successful shop in Weston, but sadly there is no-one in the family to carry this on.

“The shop has been closed and we are now considering what to do with his artwork.”

A remembrance group for Mr Fiddes has been set up on social networking website Facebook, with tribute messages already submitted from friends and family.

His funeral will take place at Weston Crematorium at 2pm on January 14. All who knew him are welcome.

● Leave a tribute message to Mr Fiddes at www.westonmercury.co.uk

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