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Celebrating the work of Geoffrey Molyneux (1947-2006)

Tuesday 13th to Saturday 17th September 2016, 10am – 4pm; Tyndale Baptist Church; free entrance.

Geoff Molyneux was an artist and popular art teacher who worked in Bristol from 1970 until his death in 2006. This exhibition celebrates his work in the church where he was a member and which shows the marks of his creativity and passion.

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Geoff Molyneux was born in Nantwich, Cheshire. At school his artistic skills were recognised by some of the staff, which led to him being offered a place, at the age of 16, at Stoke-on-Trent College of Art to study art and ceramics. After working briefly as an actor he went on to work as a police artist in the Cheshire constabulary, living in digs in Mottram in Longdendale next door to L S Lowry. After three years in the police, Geoff went to the Manchester College of Art to continue his art education.

In 1970 Geoff moved to Bristol, completing an Art Teacher Diploma and gaining a Bachelor of Arts degree at Bristol Polytechnic. Later in life he completed an MA at Bristol University.

Geoff met Rachel in January 1971 at Tyndale Baptist Church and they married in 1972. His teaching career began in 1975 at Filton High School. He went on to become Head of the Creative Faculty at Priory School, Weston-Super-Mare, and Head of Art at Monks Park School. Geoff, Rachel, and the children spent 1988 in Tasmania, having been accepted to do a teacher exchange year through the League for Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers.

Following heart surgery in 1997 he retired from his lecturing post at the City of Bristol College but later worked one day a week, voluntarily, as artist-in-residence at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School, helping 6th formers with their print-making. In retirement he also taught a private art class for adults at Tyndale for a number of years.

During his art studies in the 1960s and 70s Geoff was particularly inspired by hedges in all their variety of shapes and forms. He produced a great number of sketches, watercolours, paintings, and etchings of hedge forms over a number of years.

Another inspiration for Geoff’s art was the poem Silent Noon by Rossetti which he was introduced to this by his singing teacher in the 1970s.

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Throughout his teaching career Geoff continued to produce his own art, in many different mediums. In the 1960s he had started a form of collographic print-making. In the mid 1970s the beautiful Forest of Dean became a source of inspiration to Geoff, and proved to be especially useful for his print-making.

Another technique which Geoff enjoyed was using an airbrush to produce interesting backgrounds/frames around his work.

During his year in Tasmania, Geoff was initially frustrated that his usual palette of colours for landscapes just didn’t seem to work for Australian scenes. Once he changed many of the greens and blues, he was happier with his results!

Geoff exhibited his work often, in Bristol and beyond, and there are many examples of his work in private collections around the world.

At the time of his death in September 2006, Geoff had just come to the end of his year as President of the Bristol Savages, where week by week the artist members meet at 6pm on Wednesday evenings at Bristol’s Red Lodge. They are given a title and two hours to produce a painting. Some of Geoff’s 2 hour sketches can be seen as part of this exhibition.

September 2006 also saw the reopening of Tyndale Baptist Church after an extensive refurbishment. Geoff had been very involved with the design aspect of this, and he and his former colleague Michael Long worked together to create the mural above the baptistry.