Torbay artist Fred inspired by secrets on own doorstep

Walnut Road and Chelston in Lockdown with artist Fred Gray

Walnut Road and Chelston in Lockdown with artist Fred Gray - Credit: Archant

The undiscovered secrets of his neighbourhood during Lockdown was the inspiration for artist Fred’s latest work

A Torbay Artist who found himself shielding during the pandemic discovered a new source of inspiration right on his doorstep, the outcomes of which will be showcased in a new exhibition hosted by Torquay’s Artizan Gallery.

Chelston-based Fred Gray, an established fine artist, has captured many local scenes during his career as a landscape painter, as well as many from further afield. But with movement restricted at the start of 2020, his focus became narrower and it was daily walks in the streets, lanes and previously undiscovered paths of his neighbourhood that would give him cause to reach for his brushes.

Buildings, architecture and secret greenspaces were seen with fresh eyes, and as was the case for many, Fred found a new appreciation for the spaces just beyond his doorstep.

Fast-forward to the easing of restrictions, and with the support of Torbay Culture’s Create to Recover fund, Fred took to his community to share his discoveries, as well as hear his neighbours own experiences of the streets that had been their whole world during lockdown.

Fred has gone on to create a series of paintings to share these neighbourly perspectives on Chelston, inviting local people in to see the process as it unfolds, and exhibiting the final works at an exhibition in October.

The exhibition is being hosted at the Artizan Gallery, an independent fine art gallery celebrating Devon’s stellar creative talent from the picturesque aspect of the English Riviera.

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Jacom Brandon, from the gallery,said: “Our goal in our work is as much about residents as it is tourists and visitors; that’s not just our local artists but local people too. Being able to showcase an exhibition that so intimately looks at a community’s view of its neighbourhood having gone through the experience of lockdown, is exactly how we want to reflect the value of art and culture to peoples lives.”

The exhibition runs until October 31, For more information on Fred’s exhibition, “Chelston in Lockdown – A Sleeping Beauty”, visit