Artist on File: Renos Lavithis
Memories of Fleet Street haunts immortalised in Renos Lavithis’s drawings
After 30 years of successful service with Associated Newspapers and the Daily Mail, retired artist Renos Lavithis turned his attention once more to London’s historic centre of journalism to capture on paper Fleet Street’s famous pubs and landmarks. Denise Bowser reports ...
The result of this latest initiative was an exhibition entitled My Fleet Street that depicted not only his favourite haunts but also well-known London areas such as Middle Temple, St Paul’s, South of the River and the City. The show consisted of more than 50 drawings that were on display at no Sweat (a school for journalism training) on Clerkenwell Close in central London. As a by-product of the exhibition 12 drawings have been compiled to produce My London, a 2011 calendar, which has been in such demand that extra copies had to be ordered. “It’s astonishing and a nice surprise that this calendar has become so popular”, says Renos.
Following the success of My Fleet Street, one of his works called A View from St Paul’s was selected to be exhibited at Bankside Gallery in September 2011. Earlier than that, however, his works will also appear at the Britannia Centre in North Finchey, London in May.
Established London artist Renos Lavithis started work in the 70s as a designer in the publicity department at Associated Newspapers. This led to a 30 year career at the Daily Mail. During this time, he had many exhibitions of his work for the newspaper. In addition to that, throughout his career, he also produced oils on canvas of seascapes and landscapes, as well as drawings and etchings of people and events.
Renos’s oil paintings are very colourful and relatively loose in style, whereas his London drawings are very detailed.
The beginning: from Cyprus to the heart of London
Renos Lavithis was born in Cyprus and spent his childhood exploring the shores of the Paphian Sea which continue to provide inspiration for his art work up to this day. Having moved to London in 1964, the artist first had life and composition classes at St Martin’s School of Art, before completing an art foundation course at Sir John Cass. His next step was to secure a scholarship at Ealing School of Art where he frequented classes from 1967 to 1970, alongside Freddie Mercury and Brian May from the rock group Queen. After that, he completed his education by gaining a Typography Design Degree at the London College of Printing. His next move was to land a job in Fleet Street straight out of College in 1974. The rest is history…., as we say… and which we can now see, somehow, beautifully portrayed in his drawings.
Date for your diary - Renos’s next show will open on 10th May at Britannia Centre, North Finchley, London. For more information please log on to www.renosart.co.uk