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Artist     Reg Gammon
Title      Gypsy Sisters
Date      1982
object    Painting
Media    oil
Size       61 x 76cm
Ref          773

Acquired in 1989

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Gypsy Sisters
    I know these things because of my life and age. I know how people feel. It is essential for an artist to understand what he is producing. All these country scenes I have taken part in.
A painter, illustrator and writer Reg Gammon was born in Petersfield, Hampshire in 1894.  In 1918 the Scottish etcher Muirhead Bone promoted his work and attempted to have him enroll at the Slade School but he declined as he had recently become married.  He took up instead a career as a writer and illustrator working for 'Punch' and for cycling and motoring magazines.

At the end of the Second World War he returned to the Black Mountains in Wales and became a hill farmer.  It was not until 1958 – when he was sixty-four years old - that Reg Gammon decided to become a full-time painter and moved to Somerset, setting up his studio in Cannington.

His principal influence was the French post-impressionist Paul Gauguin and this is evident in his choice of working people as principle subjects.  He achieved considerable success and was a member of both the R.W.A. and the R.O.I.  In 1990 he published his biography 'One Man's Furrow, 90 years of country living' which told the tale of a life interrupted by two world wars, and records the artist's impressions of a life and landscape that has now all but disappeared. The book is in three sections, reflecting life before, between and after the wars.

He died in 1997 at 103, still working in watercolours almost to the end of his life. He wrote of his art and his influences:
    [I was] .on a cycling trip through Ireland when persistent rain played havoc with watercolours, so I took up oils against the weather… Gauguin is my chief influence, but Chagall, I am fond of - Bonnard too... and Rouault.
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