UK’s Bloodstock Festival (also know as Bloodstock Open Air) has become in recent years, one of Europe’s most illustrious Metal gatherings. An undeniable proof of the fest’s panache is the inclusion of bands like Blind Guardian, Megadeth, Amon Amarth, Ghost, Testament, Kreator, Hatebreed, Arch Enemy in the 2017 line-up. This event also sponsors the Rock And Metal Museum (RAM)—a gallery that exhibits original artworks and other items related with Heavy Metal visual imagery. The upcoming edition will take place from August 10th to 13th within Bloodstock’s premises and promises to be a true feast for the senses. Let’s meet some of this year’s exhibitors.
PAUL RAYMOND GREGORY
This illustrious British artist is Bloodstock’s mastermind and the creator of RAM. He has painted dozens of album covers for collectives like Saxon, Dio, Blind Guardian, and is also well-known for his gigantic J.R.R Tolkien-inspired canvases. His leading role has proven crucial fro the development of both the gallery through the years.
Gregory explains: “I had my own gallery many years ago holding some notable exhibitions. I decided to sell the gallery to concentrate on my own work which was inspired by Tolkien’s fictional universe. It was one of my Tolkien pieces that came to the attention of Saxon’s manager in 1983 the album was Crusader released in 1984. In 2014 I decided to celebrate my thirtieth anniversary with the music industry by returning to my roots with a gallery at Bloodstock… The gallery will always be adding new artists, authors, photographers and any other talented muse we feel will sit well with the gallery and its aims. I never looked upon it as a money-spinner. For me was a passion that I wanted to create something that was unique and that I could see developing. So I think for me it has to be the passion of doing something you want to do, and that is how it has worked.”
Check out Paul Raymond Gregory’s epic paintings and illustrations at: www.studio54.co.uk
This is the first time that Israeli visionary, Eliran Kantor, exhibits his works at the Rock And Metal Museum. Widely known for his arresting cover illustrations for Testament, Sigh, Atheist, Soulfly, Iced Earth, etc. this Berlin-based artist is considered of the greatest artists working in the Metal scene today.
Regarding his RAM participation, Kantor comments: “I’m very excited about being invited to attend the RAM at Bloodstock this year by Paul Raymond Gregory. There will be 5 of my pieces added to the permanent collection and on display this year. Not sure I can say which one – come and see for yourself!”
See more of Eliran Kantor’s work at: www.elirankantor.com
AND JUSTICE FOR ART
This is the second consecutive year that the book “And Justice For Art” will be exhibited at the Rock And Metal Museum. The difference is that this time, author Ramon Martos-Garcia will be exhibiting the Revised Edition of this 264-color pages volume. The new edition includes more than 450 images and 105 exclusive interviews with members of Amorphis, Slayer, Cradle Of Filth, Carcass, Cattle Decapitation, Anthrax, Enslaved, Cormorant, At The Gates, Katatonia, etc. regarding the creation of some of Metal’s most iconic album covers.
When asked why he decided to create a revised edition of the book, author Martos-Garcia says: “I didn’t want to just re-print the same book again. I had new material available—new images and commentaries. So, I decided to add as much as I could and bring something new to the table while keeping intact the essence of previous edition. There are new comments, more graphics, but it’s still the same book… dramatically improved and updated.”
A signed copy of “And Justice For Art” will be given away to a lucky Bloodstock ticket holder. Check out the book exclusively at the official store: www.andjusticeforart.bigcartel.com
CHRISTIAN SLOAN HALL
American illustrator, Christian Sloan Hall has been widely praised for his striking, Viking-inspired illustrations for Swedish metallers, Amon Amarth. In addition, he’s also produced visuals for Dimmu Borgir, Testament, Sunn o))), etc. He’s already familiar with RAM and Bloodstock. Last year, he created an exclusive artwork for the Rock And Metal Museum—personally commissioned by Bloodstock’s main man, Paul Raymond Gregory.
“Amon Amarth are headlining this year, so Paul thought it would be cool to display some of the work I’ve done for them over the years,” Sloan Hall comments. “Two of the battle scenes I’ve done for them that have been used for backdrops will be on show, as well as some of the illustrations I’ve done for tour shirts, and a few others like some pieces I’ve done for DC snowboards, etc… Events like RAM are beyond important. The once flourishing illustration industry has been a dying one for decades, struggling to survive in the face of constant exploitation and digital emulation. Events like this are crucial in the battle to keep the industry alive but restore Illustration and art to its former glory. I’m greatly honored to be able to be a part of it!”
Find out more about Christian Sloan Hall at: www.deathlord.co.uk
Paul Harries’s photo-portfolio includes shots of Rock/Metal luminaries such as Metallica, Nirvana, Ghost, Muse, Green Day, AC/DC and Osbourne, among many others. He’s currently one of Kerrang! magazine’s leading photographers and has even published a Slipknot-inspired photo-book titled, “Slipknot: Dysfunctional Family Portraits.”
“I have not expectations really, I just like to show my work,” the British photographer admits. “The images on show will be from Lemmy, Slipknot, Ghost, Slash, Lamb Of God and Lizzy Hale. I thought this selection would fit in nicely with the Bloodstock vibe… Prints are available to purchase so if I sell a few that will be great.”
Check out Paul Harries’ photographs at: www.paulharries.com
Custom-made Cynosure guitars and basses, have been part of the Rock And Metal Museum for years. Hailing from England, these super-exclusive instruments have become one of RAM’s focus of attention. “Cynosure can be defined as ‘something that attracts attention by its brilliance’,” says mastermind, Oliver Andrew. “Paul Gregory appreciated my postmodern approach to visualization of the instruments and requested that I showcase my “fantastical” instruments among his artwork. The whole experience was most humbling, having some of my favorite artists and bands take notice of my art, not only offering their opinions, but expressing genuine admiration for my work.”
Over the years, Gregory has commissioned several Cynosure guitars, exclusively for Bloodstock and RAM, including the official RAM guitar, and Motorhead and Saxon-inspired six strings. “The guitars built for Paul Raymond Gregory, have been played by bands such as, Carcass, Emperor, Crowbar and Dave Mustaine of Megadeth,” Andrew says. “The idea is to create a guitar that would be multi-faceted, an art-piece that would be recognized as such, however, still maintaining its distinction as a playable instrument.”
Find out more about Cynosure at: www.cynosureguitars.com
Other RAM 2017 exhibitors are; Art Vinyl, Darkaya books, Daniel P. Carter and Heathen Wax Works. Find more about them at: https://www.facebook.com/RockAndMetalMuseum/