Born in 1950 in Brightlingsea, Essex, Ian moved to The Rookery residential home for adults with learning difficulties in Walcott, North Norfolk in 1979. He was a kind and gentle man who loved music and enjoyed strong friendships with many including the local church, staff and colleagues. In 1987, the Barrington Farm Art Barn studio opened opposite his home, and it was here that he discovered a unique natural creative ability in the visual arts. Over the next 28 years he would develop these skills to become an internationally celebrated artist and well-loved member of the Art Barn.
Ian excelled in most disciplines including painting, ceramics, drawing and textiles, producing hundreds of representational and abstract works. His unique and colourful work was exhibited widely and selected for many prestigious local exhibitions including Salthouse, Eastern Open (where he was a prizewinner in 2011) and The Assembly House in Norwich. Ian also has work in private collections that have been shown in various galleries including the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, the Museum of Everything at Tate Modern in London, and the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Archive at MOMA Dublin.
In 2009, Ian’s painting was the subject of a short film by Amanda Ravetz. Ian Collins, arts writer for the Eastern Daily Press (who had previously purchased a painting for their offices) commented on the film, saying that “Ian Partridge paints the sheer joy of living”.
Ian’s work was always full of colour and joy, reflecting his own happy personality and love of life. He will be greatly missed and remembered through his beautiful art.
Ian died peacefully at home on November 20. The funeral took place at Walcott Church on December 7, followed by a screening of Beautiful Colour at Barrington Farm.
by Sarah Ballard