Horace Panter, whose name you may recognise from his success as bass player of the ska band ‘The Specials’ has created a series of paintings inspired by his love for the blues. Panter’s collages depict something of an homage to blues legends such as Hound Dog Taylor, John Lee Hooker and Bo Diddley. Charismatic images of the legends are immersed in a collection of nostalgia and paraphenelia of not only the story of the blues as a musical genre, but the revolutionary history that surrounded the lives of these legends. Panter is not acting as the preacher in his work; he is subtle in his choices of imagery when he does allude to something of a darker nature. In ‘Hound Dog Taylor’ the barbed wire that encases the originals’ frame and the dancing, primitive figures below lead to provoking thoughts of exactly what object and image is meant to represent.
Is it odd that so many people today can still identify and emphathise with the poignant words of these singers? Our sufferings and experiences today do not even begin to equate with the ones they may have endured it may be argued. But ask any devoted blues lover, and those expressive lyrics recalling the tales of deep sorrows, the wailing desparation of an abondoned lover and the feelings of being at a complete loss, still have a very deep, very powerful resonance. Those husky tones that flow so freely to the pace of the steady blues underpin the most brutal, but honest truths of life. The blues brings out the truth in man. That is why it has endured, will always be relevent and makes it a legacy worth sustaining.
The White Room Gallery in Bath has a collection of Horace Panter limited edition prints and originals avaialable. For details visit www.thewhiteroomgallery.com or better still, visit the gallery and take a look for yourself.