Tag Archives: Horace Panter


The whole team at the gallery are very excited about our current exhibition ‘The Writing is on the Wall’ by Horace Panter, sponsored by Sheaffer who in conjunction are celebrating their 100th Anniversary.

SF_Centenial_Logo_wh_print_blk_bkgrdSheaffer is a pen company that first started in 1913 with only just seven employees. Over the years Sheaffer saw enormous growth, has left it’s mark on the writing instrument industry and continues to adapt and offer it’s customers innovating quality products. Read through our exclusive interview to learn more about Sheaffer, their thoughts on Horace Panter and their future.

This exhibition marks Sheaffer’s 100th Birthday, can you tell us a little bit about the company’s history?

 The W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company was incorporated in Fort Madison, Iowa, USA on May 16, 1913. The company’s founder and president, Walter A. Sheaffer, was a humble gentleman who formed an idea, staked his life savings and against all odds created one of the most highly-respected and honored organizations around the world, making his namesake company a worldwide symbol of quality, craftsmanship and innovation over the next 100 years.


 Do you have a favourite painting of Horace’s from the exhibition?

 Of course our favorite is the commission piece, but it’s hard to choose just one, to be honest.  We also love Horace’s painting of Amy Winehouse which is just beautiful, The Clash piece, Silver Robot, and Charlie Parker from the “Chicago Blues” collection to name but a few!


Detail © Horace Panter

What does the future hold for Sheaffer?

Sheaffer is proud to have made its mark in an industry that has changed so much over the past century – the company has adapted throughout the decades, ensuring that the Sheaffer brand and its products are still desired and relevant in 2013.

For example, technological advancements continue to change the way people write and communicate, and as such, Sheaffer recently introduced a ballpoint-stylus to work with capacitive touchscreens as well as a tablet holder within its leather collection.

Looking forward, Sheaffer will continue to adapt to the rapidly-shifting marketplace by introducing more innovative and elegant products that will address the changing needs of its consumers, while remaining ever-mindful of its remarkable 100-year history and heritage.

‘The Writing is on the Wall’ will be on display at the Strand Gallery until the 10th of November.

To find more about Sheaffer visit their website here.


INTERVIEW: Horace Panter

Most of us know him as the bassist of the well-known band The Specials, but Horace Panter is also an accomplished and very well received painter. His art journey began when he was still a student at the Coventry’s Lanchester Polytechnic where he studied Fine Art, and though he later on became a professional musician (and a very successful one!), his inclination towards art and painting never ceased. There seems to be this artist working in a parallel passage to that one of the musician in Horace Panter’s character were sometimes their paths can overlap or be compared but the two never meet or interrelate.

In this interview he tells us about the time when he was 17, his University years and his early influences. He also talks about how he prefers to work and how he uses the same approach to showcasing his art as he does with his music.

‘I was swept up in the trend of conceptual and minimalist sculpture. I started visiting the Tate Gallery, attending their Sunday afternoon lectures and spending time in the Rothko room.’

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Where did your interest in painting stem from?

At 17, all the pupils at Kettering Grammar School were given UCAS forms and were told to go away and choose a university course to do. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do, other than listen to Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Free and John Peel. I wanted to be ‘creative’ in some form and Art School seemed as near to creative as I could get. I got a place at Northampton School of Art to do a one-year foundation course and then got accepted at Coventry’s Lanchester Polytechnic to do Fine Art. I still didn’t have a clue, but it put me in the right direction!

Who are your inspirations and what influences your work?

My first influences were the Pop Artists. I liked the flat colour paintings of Robert Indiana – American gas stations and freeways. When I got to Art College I was swept up in the trend of conceptual and minimalist sculpture. I started visiting the Tate Gallery, attending their Sunday afternoon lectures and spending time in the Rothko room. I was very taken with the Abstract Expressionists, and also what was termed ‘Post-Abstract Expressionism’: Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland. I became a professional musician in 1979 and, while touring, was able to visit some of the world’s top art galleries. A visit to MOMART in New York brought me into contact with the work of Joseph Cornell. It was my ‘St Paul on the road to Damascus’ moment. The grand gesture was replaced by the mystery of objects. I’ve recently returned to my Pop Art roots, but heavily influenced by traditional iconography. I think all my works have a kind of quasi-religious aspect.

How would you describe your unique style? How do you feel it has developed over the years?

The work I was doing ten years ago had a lot to do with folk art and what is termed ‘outsider’ art. It has moved significantly to a more representational style although I still use a very limited palette. I describe myself as ‘the borg’ because, like the fictional species, I absorb and appropriate almost anything I see! This used to bother me as I felt I should be finding and sticking to one particular style of painting. However, I now value the freedom I have to merge styles or even to have several going on at the same time! In the studio, Monday could be ‘icon’ painting, Tuesday, ‘pop art’, Wednesday, ‘music’ … I should have a different painting apron for each day of the week! Of course, it doesn’t work like that in a literal sense because I’m lead by what is uppermost in my mind on any given day. At the moment, I’m working on a piece called ‘Land of 1000 Dances’, based on soul music, so I’m immersing myself by listening to the music while I research and plan ideas!  When I’m painting portraits though, I like to work in silence. I paint portraits as icons, the subject as the central focus without distractions, so I don’t like to be distracted while I’m working on them.

‘If you’re in a good band, there’s no point leaving it in a rehearsal room; you’ve got to go out and get gigs. It’s the same with paintings. They need to be seen.’

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Do you feel playing in The Specials has been a big influence in your art work?

Only inasmuch as playing in The Specials and touring enabled me to visit some of the world’s best art galleries and, since 2009, has given me more time to spend on my painting. I use the ‘music industry’ model in the marketing of my art. If you’re in a good band, there’s no point leaving it in a rehearsal room; you’ve got to go out and get gigs. It’s the same with paintings. They need to be seen.

 What can we expect to see from Horace Panter in the future? Do you have any exciting upcoming projects after ‘The Writing is on the Wall’?

Following this, I will be painting towards an exhibition at Reuben Colley Fine Art Gallery in Birmingham in February 2014. Reuben Colley is an artist with a gallery and I’m honoured that he has chosen to represent my work. Before that though, I’ll be taking a break in Los Angeles to stay with an old friend and artist Vicki Berndt, ostensibly to cat sit while she takes a vacation! I will be making the most of my time there by visiting galleries and looking for inspiration!  In June 2014 I also have a solo exhibition at ‘According to McGee’ in York which is another great gallery. There are also some exciting possibilities on the horizon with a couple of corporate spin offs being discussed. I’m a lot further forward in my art career than I was this time last year so I guess I’m moving in the right direction. However, you’re only as good as your last collection so there’s much work to be done!

You can see Horace Panter’s current exhibition ‘The Writing is on the Wall’ at the Strand Gallery until the 10th of November.

Visit his website here for more information.

All images © Horace Panter


Tuesday is a very exciting day for the team at the gallery as it brings our latest exhibition, The Writing is on the Wall, by Horace Panter in association with the international writing brand Sheaffer. We wanted to find out a little more from Horace about his relationship with the arts and how he came about working with this iconic brand. Here’s what the man himself had to say…

“The idea of working alongside Sheaffer was very challenging; a few comfort zones had to be left behind so that’s no bad thing right from the off. I like a challenge.

‘Writing and Art’ had memories of time spent at Coventry’s Lanchester Polytechnic doing my degree course, being harangued by young exponents of Art Language – suit-wearing young revolutionaries carrying portable typewriters, constantly hectoring us into labyrinthine debates about the relevance of object making and vigorously proselytising conceptualism rather than ‘traditional’ art practice. Time, luckily, heals!

Horace Panter

Horace Panter

Writing, however, is a term used in two kinds of very different art, Iconography and Graffiti. Both are ‘written’ rather than painted, which is contrary to what is expected. I like contrary. Much of my own work is based on a contemporary interpretation of the traditional icon. To link the act of writing, and its artefacts, to painting was therefore an interesting brief. I was immediately drawn to the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: “The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on”. My initial thought was to include that in the painting, as introducing text into the painting was to be one of my core criteria.

Images of people in the act of writing were also considered, for example, the use of a pen in the signing of peace treaties, the use of a pen to officially end a conflict, the pen as artefact, the cultural history of the pen itself in its role in the development of language, communication and story-telling. Allying this to my interest in traditional iconography was only a short step.

Whilst on a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago I was struck by a series of triptychs and thought this would be a good format with which to construct my painting so that became the starting point. I set to work on the preliminary sketches in my hotel room whilst on tour in the USA with The Specials in February 2013. The two side-panels were relatively easy in terms of ideas and the central panel became a mixture of religious symbols; the hands and the Mandala-type motifs venerating the artefact and the act of writing. It was only after completing these stages and living with it for a while that I decided to include actual text.

I have used artist’s and art critic’s writing about art.  I now have a painting about writing about painting. There are quotes dating back to the ancient Greeks as well as quotes from contemporary artists such as Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst.

The finished piece is a mixture of paint, collage and ink; the pens used are from the Sheaffer caligraphy range with home-made recipe of inks and thinned acrylic paint!”

Horace Panter
November 2013

The Writing is on the Wall opens on Tuesday 5th November and will be open to the public until the 10th. Don’t miss it!

SF_Centenial_Logo_wh_print_blk_bkgrd                      logo                 Sheaffer_logo

PREVIEW: “The Writing is on the Wall” by Horace Panter

Horace Panter - Detail

Horace Panter – Detail

The Strand Gallery is excited to welcome back Horace Panter for the upcoming November exhibition: “The Writing is on the Wall”  sponsored by Sheaffer, who in conjunction are celebrating their 100th Anniversary. Horace Panter’s first public exhibition was held at the Strand Gallery in the winter of 2011 and was followed by two years of successful group and solo displays in the UK and Singapore.

Horace Panter was born in Surrey in 1953 and studied Fine Art at the Coventry’s Lanchester Polytechnic in 1975. He is widely known as the bassist of the world renowned band The Specials and throughout his career as a musician has toured all over the world. During his travels he had the opportunity to visit many of his favorite museums and art galleries, collecting art books and photographs that later on became his source of inspiration for most of his work.

“The Writing is on the Wall”, is mostly inspired by his time studying at Art School. In this exhibition Horace Panter explores the relationship of painting and writing, combining ink as well as paint and collage. By introducing writing to his paintings, Panter aims to explore themes of contemporary iconography in relation to traditional ideas.

“The Writing is on the Wall” by Horace Panter will be open to the public at The Strand Gallery from 5th-11th November. Stay tuned for more information.

Further examples of Horace’s work can be seen here.