Ron’s Place: a truly extraordinary story.
Ron took on the tenancy of his ground floor flat in 1986. The tenancy agreement allowed him to ‘decorate the interior of the property to his own taste and the external porch in classical style without the prior written consent of the Landlord’. He also had full use of the garden which he was at liberty to landscape at his own expense. The premises were in a constant state of transformation over time according to Ron’s own documentation and the few visitors who crossed the threshold.
A secret world
Although Ron was extremely proud of his artwork he generally refused entry to landlords, maintenance staff and any kind of officialdom in order to protect the fantasy world he had created for himself – after all, not every property owner would allow their tenant to build an epic concrete lion fireplace in their living room. An unfortunate consequence of Ron’s decision was that he lived without basic home comforts and amenities – much to the distress of his family – but this was less important to him than the freedom to create his art. The fantastical environment Ron created was a representation of his lifelong passions and obsessions, and Ron, in his various roles and guises, was the catalyst that brought it all to life.
Unearthing surprising things
There was a LOT of stuff in Ron’s flat and it was difficult knowing where to start in the quest to make sense of his life and reveal the full extent of his creativity. Each room was piled high with bags, boxes, books, magazines, videos, clothes, furniture, food packaging and assorted trinkets. There were art materials, sketches, paintings, photographs and hand-written notes – some in secret code. Strange contraptions and miscellaneous papier maché body parts poked out from the mountains of things Ron had collected as potential source material for his art.
Can you help to save Ron’s Place?
There is still a great deal to do to save Ron’s Place, and we can’t do it on our own. There are already lots of ways you can help, and we will be adding more in the future