Paul Winner describes himself as a victim of ISS - Irritable Scribbling Syndrome. "My fingers begin to tingle when I see the right combination of composition , colour and light..I just can't resist it".
The fruits of four decades of this affliction are on display at The Reform Club until 21 December. But visitors to the exhibition are unlikely to agree with Paul's self-diagnosis. They will be struck by the skill with which he captures in an instant the people he is meeting in pen and ink, sketching as he and they discuss humanitarian projects or business dealings.
These are not caricatures, but nor are they flattering portraits – they are people in motion, caught by a grimace, a gesture, a mouth open, a wrinkled brow.
Many of them are instantly recognizable, from the late Pope John-Paul to Anne Widdecombe. The exhibition provides some clues to others less well-known with attached photographs. The display has been expertly assembled by Marion Davis of the Reform Club, who has approached her task with great enthusiasm and care. She had over 800 sketch books to review and has put together sketches in categories ranging from the political to the religious.
There are also examples of Paul’s fine watercolours and landscapes.
Paul is only the third member of the Reform Club in its 174-year history to have an exhibition of their work displayed there. It immediately follows an exhibition of memorabilia of perhaps the Club’s most distinguished former member, W E Gladstone. A hard act to follow, but Paul is up to the challenge and provides a unique and valuable record of a busy life in career and voluntary work.
Please contact Paul Winner on 07984 160102 to arrange a viewing.
Reviewed by David McDougal