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Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010
Paintings by Ipswich Art School teacher Colin Moss
From the New Cut - Colin Moss, 1950
From the New Cut - Colin Moss, 1950

An exhibition's being held to celebrate the work of a man who taught at Ipswich Art School for three decades.

Colin Moss (1914-2005): Artist & Teacher is at the Town Hall Galleries until June 2010.

Hundreds of students passed through his classes when the art school was on Ipswich High Street.

One of them, Maggi Hambling, said: "He ran the life school as a military place - we practically had to stand to attention beside our easels."

Colin Moss was born in Ipswich in 1914 and studied at Plymouth Art College and the Royal College of Art in London.

After designing camouflage for the government during the war, he became a senior lecturer at Ipswich School of Art in 1947 until he retired in 1979.

Maggi Hambling, CBE, was one of his students (1962-64) before going on to achieve fame for her North Sea paintings , portraits and Scallop sculpture on Aldeburgh beach (amongst other works).

Colin Moss
Colin Moss pictured in 1981 after he'd retired from Ipswich School of Art

She remembers his army background:

"That's very good, that regimentation and that discipline because art is actually about discipline. You have to discipline yourself to do it every day whatever happens.

"He believed completely in what he painted. Paint and draw what you see rather than what you think you see.

"He really trained us to draw and drawing is at the basis of everything I do.

"His whole attitude of the physicality of painting had an effect on me - my sea paintings are very physical.

"He became the subject he painted whether it's people drinking at a bar, drilling a drill or even a dustbin. There's a very lively picture of a dustbin which I think everyone should come and see."

Maggi Hayward was taught by Colin Moss when she was at Ipswich School of Art (1966-68):

"He was quite fierce and we were all quite frightened of him until we got to know him. He was very direct and told you exactly what he thought of your work.

"That was a good thing because you knew where you stood.

"Nowadays, I'm one of the exhibition designers at Ipswich Museum. Bizarrely, my office is in the same room that I used to do life-drawing classes with Colin.

"Almost every day I'm using something that he's taught me."

Colin's widow Pat Moss said she was always a fan:

"I'm so very pleased that this exhibition has been staged. I've always admired him, even before I got to know him in 1971.

"I was a bit anxious, because I hadn't seen some of the work since the 1970s apart from the items which I've got out of my own storage.

"I'd seen his work in the college, where I worked too, and it always knocked me for six each time I saw it."

Workshops and a pub crawl

Ipswich Museum
Ipswich School of Art was in buildings now occupied by Ipswich Museum

The exhibition runs at Ipswich Town Hall, 16 January - 12 June 2010. It also includes an 'I Spy' trail for children (of all ages!).

Workshops running alongside the exhibition include Linocut (6 February), Cammo Art (17 February), Funky Foamcuts (14 April), Drop-in and Draw (2 June) and Life Drawing (15 June).

The Art Crawl (13 May) takes in sites that inspired Colin Moss. It starts at Isaac's on the Ipswich waterfront and ends up at the Arboretum pub next to the old art school on High Street.

Emma Roodhouse is curator of the exhibition:

"This is a celebration of Colin Moss as an artist and his influence in Ipswich and it really shows the range of collection which is now owned by Ipswich Borough Council."

Ring the Town Hall Galleries on 01473 433691 for full events details.

Pipe and tweeds

Maggi Hambling at Ipswich Town Hall Galleries
Maggi Hambling gave a speech to open the exhibition

Maggi Hambling fondly remembers the days of smoking in Colin Moss's art classes:

"He was very un-flashy, un-arty and that's one of the things I loved about him.

"He would stand there in his tweeds with his pipe in the glorious, civilised days of smoking everywhere.

"You are impressed as a young student by someone who is a proper, working artist.

"He was an inspirer."

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