I need to write a tribute to a dear friend who just left this world. Without him my art life would have been very different, so I think it's relevant that I write about him here.
Things would of course have happened at some point, I was walking this path before I met him. But he was the one who first encouraged me, and gave me direct advice and even addresses to contact to publish my work. Through this encounter a lot of things got engaged; most of all, my ten years of collaboration with the “Dragon Chronicle” journal.
Meeting him back in February 1993 was a turning point in my life. Well, that whole year was, I was also going to finish Uni that year and start the job I still have now! He was always one of my favourite artists but I never mentioned him when I talk about my influences.
1993 was also the year I became a Led Zeppelin fan, that feeling of connection, of finding what my soul needed to grow and inspiration for the road. It was only around the end of the year that I realised these events were are linked. But to be honest I'd rather it had not been so.
Barrington Coleby will always be associated with the famous Hermit painting that features in the inner sleeve of the fourth Led Zeppelin album, but just writing this makes me feel sad. I can very well imagine how I would feel if all that people wanted to know about me was some random commission I did when I was still in my twenties, and not care at all about my art as a matured adult. And to boot most won't even care about the artwork but some random idea in their minds. It's all rather fucked up, and I don't use swear words lightly.
Any time I mentioned this friendship to a Zepp fan, I got showered by demands to ask this or that and whatnot, so I just kept quiet as I didn't want all that crap to get in the way of one of the most precious friendships I had.
Then again there was a lesson in this, I learned very early on that humans in general want to be fed illusions and will not pay attention to reality around them.
I don't think I have met many people who share my strange way of life, only one other close friend does. All to pursue this thing I call the song of life. Listen to the old tunes, watch the colours and transcribe them back to pass them on. I like what Keith Richards says about this, it's like “being an antenna” funnily enough we often talked about the Stones with Barry
I am really not very good with words, so I'll just leave this here for now, and my real tribute will hopefully be the new project I've been working on for two years now, I just need to stop holding my breath and take the plunge, now is the best possible moment.
Farewell and well met my friend, I'll see you about when I cross the bridge myself.