Portrait of Manic Street Preachers’ Richey Edwards displayed in missing persons exhibition
A portrait of former Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards, painted by Associate Lecturer Will Teather, was displayed as part of an exhibition of paintings of missing people this weekend. Taking place as part of the Other Art Fair in London, #Unmissable has been organised to mark the 25th anniversary of the Missing People charity.
Edwards was last seen on 31 Jan 1995. His sister Rachel Edwards says: “For the last 24 years I have lived in hope of solving the mystery of what happened to Richard. I am desperate for news as to his fate and am appealing to the public to help me”.
“I hope the exhibition will be a poignant and effective way of raising awareness for Missing People”, she adds, “a charity that has and continues to support my family and I for almost 25 years. I’m so pleased that the money raised will go towards helping them to continue to be there for others like me and will shine a light on all missing people, and their families, and hopefully bring us some answers”.
“I was a little surprised, having agreed to paint a portrait for the Unmissable exhibition, to be sent a selection of photos that included one Richard Edwards. It took me a couple of moments to identify him as the missing guitarist of the Manic Street Preachers. “
Will comments, “Like many people I guess, I was a big Manics fan at the time of his disappearance. To my mind, they remain one of the last great political and socially conscious bands that the UK has ever produced. In many ways they were the formative band of my youth, with Richey’s lyrical genius at the centre of this. In fact, I drew a portrait of Edwards when I was still at school. I saw the Manics in late 1994 with Richey performing as part of their Holy Bible tour, shortly before his disappearance. It was my first gig, and I have reunited with an old school friend to watch the band on many occasions since. The band’s early work and startling image, that Edwards was integral to cultivating, has influenced both the aesthetics of my paintings and my own songwriting into my adulthood.
So, to find myself creating this portrait now, with the blessing of his family, has some personal resonance. Edwards is still missing of course and creating this artwork has caused me to reflect yet again on the loss of his talent, but also how hard it must be for any family to never know the fate of their siblings. I’ve known and liked Ben Moore, the curator of this exhibition, for several years and agreed to be part of this show, knowing how hard it must have been for him to lose his brother. And now, I hope that I have paid a fitting to tribute to one of the missing idols of my youth”.
The exhibition has been curated by Ben Moore, whose own brother has been missing since 2003. Other artists commissioned to create portraits for the show include Charming Baker, Samira Addo, Ian Bruce, Nina Mae Fowler, Chris Moon, Alex Chappell, Amy Shuckburgh, Carne Griffiths, Mark Metcalfe, Paul Benney, Tim Gatenby and Ru Knox.
#Unmissable includes paintings by 25 artists of 25 missing people and took place at the Truman Brewery in London.