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Thames artists to showcase works inspired by rock legend Ian Dury at Hornchurch’s Queen’s Theatre

PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 March 2020

Screwed Up, Smoothed Out - Taking it all In by Simon Monk. Picture: Simon Monk

Screwed Up, Smoothed Out - Taking it all In by Simon Monk. Picture: Simon Monk

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A collective of mixed media artists will soon be displaying work inspired by a well-known rock n’ roll artist in Hornchurch.

England’s Glory by Alison Bournes, inspired by Ian's song called Plaistow Patricia. Picture: Tessa HallmannEngland’s Glory by Alison Bournes, inspired by Ian's song called Plaistow Patricia. Picture: Tessa Hallmann

March 27 marks the 20th anniversary of rock artist Ian Dury’s death from metastatic colorectal cancer.

With the support of Dury’s family, The Thames Group of Artists has created All Kinds of Naughty, an exhibition inspired and informed by songs and lyrics from Dury..

Charles Sharman-Cox, one of the artists, said: “Ian Dury was a rock and roll vagabond whose wit and verbal dexterity as a lyric writer gave the world some of its most iconic phrases – Sex & Drugs & Rock ’n’ Roll, Reasons to be Cheerful and This Is What We Find.

“A true renaissance man, Dury was a talented painter, musician and actor who left behind a body of work that continues to amuse and delight to this day.”

England’s Glory by Alison Bournes. Picture: Tessa HallmannEngland’s Glory by Alison Bournes. Picture: Tessa Hallmann

The Thames group is made up of 20 professional 2D and 3D mixed media artists including ceramists, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers and writers all with a direct link to the River Thames.

Following the success of its first major show, Sweet Thames Run Softly, a travelling pop up exhibition inspired by TS Eliot’s epic poem, The Waste Land, the Thames Group turned to Ian Dury as inspiration for their next show.

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“His lyrics are so rich,” said Charles.

Ian Dury died on March 27, 2000, aged 57. Picture: PA PhotosIan Dury died on March 27, 2000, aged 57. Picture: PA Photos

“I said to the artists, all you’ve got to do is pick a song and hopefully that will inspire you to do some work.

“We were trying to create an art piece that had nothing to do with Ian but was inspired by Ian.”

A couple of the Thames artists have connections with Dury.

Will Birch wrote Dury’s biography and Tadeus Blower had performed with the bass player of the band Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

Ian Dury's original lyric to All Kinds of Naughty. It was found in the personal archive of Rod Melvin and has not been seen for nearly 50 years. Tessa HallmannIan Dury's original lyric to All Kinds of Naughty. It was found in the personal archive of Rod Melvin and has not been seen for nearly 50 years. Tessa Hallmann

Through their connections the artists were able to get in touch with Dury’s family about the exhibition.

It was due to premier next week to coincide with the anniversary of Dury’s death, however the date has been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

All Kinds of Naughty is set to run from Wednesday, April 15 to Friday, May 15 at the Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane.

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