Fleet Gallery

Fleet Gallery


Contemporary Artist                                                ROLAND JARVIS

Roland Jarvis had an English father and French mother and spent his early years in France until the age of 13.
He was given a Meccano set at the age of 7 and decided to become an engineer studying for a degree in electrical engineering at Kings’ College London. Following this he spent 2 years of military service in charge of the radar workshop at the Military College of Science in Shrivenham. After discharge he was employed in dismantling Wellington bombers on the racetrack in Weybridge and then worked as a research engineer for Morgan Carbon Ltd. in Battersea.

During a lunch break Roland crossed the Albert Bridge to Chelsea and decided at the age of 25 to become a painter. He studied painting at Guildford and Chelsea Schools of Art, spending the mornings working at a sawmill, where he was one of the few people on the site to still have a full complement of fingers. He then found work painting anatomical details on nude rubber dolls which were sold in London nightclubs, which he says was good practice for the afternoon life class.

On leaving Chelsea he was awarded a one year French Government Scholarship to study painting in Paris. After three enjoyable and
fruitful years he was told that he was no longer welcome as he was earning a living without a permit and would be escorted out of the country unless he left promptly.

Back in London Roland started teaching life drawing and printmaking at Watford and Camberwell Schools of Art and found a top floor studio in Notting Hill Gate where he was able to paint.Thirty years ago he moved to a church hall in Hastings where he currently works on painting and sculptures. In recent years has developed a form of unique animation videos.

For eighteen years Roland spent the winters designing and building astronomical clocks. Roland also taught life drawing at Brighton Polytechnic for many years.

We have more works by Jarvis, Roland.


53 Norman Road
St. Leonards-on-Sea TN38 0EG 01424 200220 - 07837 784683
patrick@fleet-gallery.com www fleet-gallery.com

A retrospective exhibition of paintings
15th June - 8th July 2017

Roland in 2012
© Alun Callendar
Roland Jarvis (1926 - 2016)

Roland Jarvis was an unusually multi-talented, productive and energetic character who died at his Hastings studio aged 90 marking the end of an extraordinary life. He was of Anglo-French parentage. The gift of a Meccano set when he was seven years of age sparked his formative interest in engineering and training at Kings College, London. However, a chance visit to an art exhibition in 1954 had such a profound effect that he swiftly changed direction to retrain as an artist.
Roland studied painting at Chelsea School of Art where he was taught by, among others, Henry Moore and Ceri Richards whose work he much admired. Awarded a French Government scholarship and British Council grant, he studied in Paris from 1956-59, where the Cubist and Surrealist movements had a deep influence on him. Over the next 15 years he lived and worked in a Bushey studio teaching printmaking at Camberwell School of Art.
In 1982 he moved to a converted chapel in Hastings. This home provided multiple spaces for painting, etching, sculpture, a clockmaker’s workshop and film studio. While teaching part time at Brighton Polytechnic, Roland developed a seasonally based use of this unique space for his work: drawing and painting during the summer months and retreating to his workshop during the winter to build astronomical clocks and make remarkable digital animation films.

Roland was a member of the Rye Society of Artists for over 15 years. He also exhibited at the Brighton College of Art in 1991, Maidstone College of Art, The Royal Academy, The Towner, the Hastings Museum, The Stade Hall and in numerous open studio events as part of local arts festivals.
In ‘Timelines’ a 20 minute documentary produced by filmmaker Mark French, he explains: When people ask how the work is going, I say I’m not working, I’m playing!”

Zebra Crossing - 121 x 183

Breakfast at the Circus - 129 x 182

A Rhino and Visitors - 150 x 175

Monument and Crowd - 149 x 179

Buskers - 123 x 215

Bikers and Birds - 123 x 184

Sculptor’s Studio at Night - 121 x 198

Sculptor’s Studio Early Morning - 132 x 182 1999

The Blind leading the Blind 1 - 134 x 270 1995

Water/Sorceror’s Apprentice - 122 x 208

Ship of Fools 1 - 122 x 182

Still Life - 127 x 144

Sunset Garden -101 x 151

Two Biker Heads - 60 x 89

15 Icarus 2 - 130 x 183

Orange Circus - 183 x 150

Hot Evening - 119 x 183

Three Heads and a Skylight - 83 x 122

Swimmer Floating in a Pool - 34 x 49 1988
Two Swimmers - 49 x 34 1988

Smoker - 58 x 86

Profile of Woman’s Head 1 - 34 x 24 23 Profile of Woman’s Head 2 - 34 x 24

24 Interior with Woman 2 - 67 x 48 25 Interior with Woman 3 - 67 x 48

26 Reclining Nude 1 - 89 x 67 27 Reclining Nude with Chair - 91 x 65

28 Sitting Nude - 95 x 71

29 Wild Cat - 54 x 66

Bikers, Cafe and Sea - 62 x 93

Bikers by the Sea 1 - 62 x 93

Life room at Brighton college 1 - 65 x 90

Sculptural Heads - 73 x 95

Roland in his studio 2012
© Andrew Hammond

Photographs by Tim Nathan
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