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Date added: 29 October 2013

'Lunchtime' at the Museum 

Ken White painting acquired by the Friends of STEAM
Thanks to the Friends of Swindon Railway Museum, the STEAM Museum has now acquired a painting produced by internationally acclaimed artist and muralist, Ken White.
The oil on canvas painting entitled The Rivet Hotters depicts a group of GWR rivet hotters who are gathered round a brazier, making their toast at lunchtime.
Ken White Rivet Hotters Swindon
picture by calyx multimedia
The Rivet Hotters is one of many paintings in Ken’s collection that reflects the time he spent at the famous Swindon Railway Works as a rivet hotter and later as a signwriter.
Ken White said of the painting which is one of a collection of over 30 GWR pieces: “I wanted to document my working in the GWR at Swindon Works; the atmosphere, noise, smells and the larger-than-life characters that I remember.
"My father worked here, my brother, my uncles and my grandfather (for over 56 years) and a lot of good friends.
"It was definitely the people I remember more than anything else. And I hope my paintings show that.
"I originally called Rivet Hotters just 'Lunchtime' because that's how I remember my early days at The Works."
Ken White Hot Rivet Hotters Swindon
Ken White (r) with Alan Wild, Chairman of the
Friends of Swindon Railway Museum
Visitors to STEAM will be able to view The Rivet Hotters when it goes on permanent display in the Foundry area of the Museum from Wednesday, 30 October.
Alan Wild, Chairman of the Friends of Swindon Railway Museum, said: “We are very pleased to have been able to secure the painting for the enjoyment of future visitors to the museum.”
About Ken White
Swindon's world-renowned mural man & artist
Ken White grew up in Swindon and on leaving school at fifteen, followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by becoming an apprentice at Swindon Works.
Ken White, Swindon, 1978
Ken White, Swindon, 1978:
next to his first major mural,
The Golden Lion, on Fleming Way,
which he later restored in 2009
After a spell as a rivet hotter, Ken became a signwriter - a move that eventually led to him becoming a professional and internationally acclaimed artist and muralist.
Ken’s work is well known to any Swindonian because he is the artist behind the distinctive murals (see pic. right) which have adorned the town since the late 1970s.
But he is also an internationally acclaimed artist and is especially well-known for his work for Richard Branson, the most famous being the ‘Scarlet Lady’ that adorns the nose cone of every Virgin Atlantic jet.
Ken, who still lives in Old Town and paints in his Swindon studio almost on a daily basis, has produced more than 30 GWR paintings and these can be viewed on his website (see link below).
So we ask?.... 

Isn't it about time Ken White - probably Swindon's best-loved and respected artist - is finally officially recognised by showing one of his wonderful paintings at the Swindon Gallery itself?

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