Have you seen the van Gogh bust in Spencer Square and wondered how it got there?
In 2018 sculptor and artist Anthony Padgett had been working on a project called A Year with Vincent and contacted our society chairman to talk about the work he had been doing.
The output from the project were busts created by Padgett and were being donated to sites that were significant to the life of van Gogh, of which Ramsgate was one. So the question was "Would the Ramsgate Society be interested in creating a permanent memorial to van Gogh and finding a site for one of the busts?"
Of course the answer was yes, but we were uncertain as to where the bust could be located. The blue plaque building in Spencer Square was soon identified as the obvious site. It links Ramsgate with Arles, Isleworth, Brixton, and Borinage where these busts had all been unveiled.
The Friends of Spencer Square have used the arrival of the bust as the beginning of a redevelopment scheme for the garden surrounding it and Ramsgate Town Council have also created a summer of events that have been inspired by the artist and are designed to involve local artists to work in a style inspired by van Gogh. They will be holding a series of workshops throughout August and an exhibition of the work created at the Churchill Tavern (details of this to follow)
As part of Heritage Open Days we will be holding an exhibition at the Falstaff of existing work in the style of Vincent to demonstrate the enduring legacy of the artist across the decades - so we will have past (where he lived, and work inspired by him), present (the product of the summer activities) and future (the bust and regeneration of the Spencer Square garden) all because Anthony approached the town to see if they wanted to receive one of the busts.