Manic Street Preachers star featured in exhibition of missing people paintings

Musician Richey Edwards is among the missing people who have been painted by prominent artists for a new exhibition in England.

The Manic Street Preachers guitarist disappeared in 1995 when he was 27.

Unmissable features works by artists including Samira Addo, Chris Moon and Ian Bruce, as well as Charming Baker, Paul Benney and Amy Florence, and will be unveiled at the March edition of The Other Art Fair in London to mark the 25th anniversary of the charity Missing People.

Edwards’ likeness has been captured by Will Teather from a photograph widely used in public appeals to raise awareness of the musician’s disappearance.

Richey Edwards by Will Teather (Will Teather/PA)
Richey Edwards by Will Teather (Will Teather/PA)

His sister Rachel said: “The artist has depicted Richard posing as the bold and vivid performer.

“For the last 24 years I have lived in hope of solving the mystery of what happened to Richard. I am desperate for news as to his fate and am appealing to the public to help me.”

Addo, who was named Sky Arts portrait artist of the year in 2018, has painted Matthew Bone, who went missing last year when he was 26.

Matthew Bone by Samira Addo (Samira Addo/PA)
Matthew Bone by Samira Addo (Samira Addo/PA)

She worked from a photograph of Bone taken on a spring afternoon in April 2015 and chosen by his mother Karen, and said: “Initially taken aback by the idea of the project, its so special and an experience completely new for me.

“The actual painting process was a lot more emotional than usual, as referring to Matthew’s photo whilst painting was a constant reminder of the terrible situation.

“But, I also kept thinking of the positive impact of this project.

“I feel honoured to be able to contribute to such an amazing charity through my art, and I hope the exposure from the exhibition and auction will make a difference in helping all of those needing help with this organisation.”

Moon has captured on canvas Simon Hodgson-Greaves, who was 48 when he went missing in 2013, while Bruce has painted Charles Hobart-Allen, who vanished in Kelowna, Canada, in 1989.

Simon Hodgson-Greaves by Chris Moon (Chris Moon?PA)
Simon Hodgson-Greaves by Chris Moon (Chris Moon?PA)

The artist said: “When my twin brother died I was told repeatedly that time heals. It’s an inaccurate cliche but makes about as much sense as a soundbite can.

“While painting his likeness on to the face of a broken clock, I thought about the difference between someone close to you dying and someone close to you going missing. I’m assuming that time doesn’t heal in the case of the latter, the passing of time erodes hope.

“Since Charles’ disappearance, his mother Denise has returned to the same location to replay the specific time that he was known to be alive. It’s hard for time to heal if it’s been suspended.”

Charles Hobart-Allen by Ian Bruce (Ian Bruce/PA)
Charles Hobart-Allen by Ian Bruce (Ian Bruce/PA)

Denise said: “Now time is not on my side but I can’t face the thought of going to my grave knowing I haven’t tried everything.”

Florence has painted Lee Boxell, who was 15 when he disappeared in 1988.

The black and white portrait shows him in a garden chair with his hands folded on his lap.

Lee Boxell by Amy Florence (Amy Florence/PA)
Lee Boxell by Amy Florence (Amy Florence/PA)

Peter Boxell, Lee’s father, said: “This wonderful portrait shows Lee, age 15, happily relaxing on a warm summer’s day, at a family gathering in July ’88, just two months before he became missing, over 30 long years ago.”

Timothy Gatenby has portrayed Andrew Gosden, who was 14 when he went missing from London’s King’s Cross station in 2007.

He said: “While painting Andrew I was struck by many questions: Who was he? What did he enjoy doing? And of course where is he now?

Andrew Gosden by Timothy Gatenby (Timothy Gatenby/PA)
Andrew Gosden by Timothy Gatenby (Timothy Gatenby/PA)

“The desperate tale of Andrew’s last sighting at King’s Cross station, in the heart of London, with so many potential destinations in a overwhelming metropolis of people became the source of feeling for the portrait that I have gone on to produce.”

Other missing people featured in the exhibition include Georgina Gharsallah, who vanished in Worthing, West Sussex, last year, as well as Sybil Appelquist, who disappeared in 2002, and Carl Hodges who was last seen in 2016.

Fatima Mohamed-Ali by Charming Baker (Charming Baker/PA)
Fatima Mohamed-Ali by Charming Baker (Charming Baker/PA)

The exhibition also includes Fatima Mohamed-Ali, who went missing in 2016, and Mary Flanagan, who disappeared in 1959 when she was 16, and Darren Tunstall, who vanished in 1992.

Also featured are Tom Moore, Luke Durbin, Lana Purcell, Finn Layland-Stratfield, Quentin Godwin and Damien Nettles.

- Press Association

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