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A time for art

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A time for art
Article date: 01 May 2013

The relationship between staff and customers has taken on a different dimension at one particular Wetherspoon pub.

Dan Whiteson, who has worked for the company for six and a half years and is currently a team leader at The White Swan, in Islington, is also a portrait artist.

Since graduating from Saint Martins School of Art, where he studied design, Dan, 24, has followed his passion for art by painting portraits and, specifically, customers at the pub

That enthusiasm for painting has also forged new friendships, including fellow artist Burt Munro. A regular at The White Swan, Burt took up painting when he retired and had not shown his work to anyone, until he got chatting to Dan one day at the pub.

In March, they joined forces in an exhibition of their work – Painting Life: Burt Munro & Dan Whiteson (Lauderdale House, in Highgate Hill, north London).

The exhibition explored the passage of time: Burt, 79, creates work inspired by his past and extraordinary life. Dan creates expressive portraits – by listening to, understanding and recording their experiences, he represents not just the sitter, but their life.

Dan said: “Burt has had an incredible life and is inspired by stories in the news, as well as his memories and experiences. He paints landscapes mainly and I paint people who have an incredible face. I think that our styles complement each other.

“Burt and I have become great friends, since we first discovered our artistic backgrounds. I have learned so much from him.”

Dan had 10 works of art at the show, predominantly of customers at The White Swan who have all become friends through the art. He enthused: “I have been selective, as not everyone is receptive to the idea of being painted. For me, though, part of the process is sitting down, talking to them and discovering the people and their story.

“People are fascinating – and I want that to be seen in their portrait.”

As well as his painting and his job at the pub, Dan runs life-drawing classes locally in Stoke Newington and Angel, with others in Hackney and Dalston in thepipeline, visit: 

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