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Mervyn Rowe



self portrait

Attended Cambridge and Manchester Colleges of art, qualifying at special level.

After military service, returned to work at the Art's Theatre Cambridge, where he had worked part time while a student. Then taught practical art and art history at the local grammar school and Fairlawn education centre. Painting and exhibiting extensively at London's Walker fine art, artists of fame and promise, Portal Gallery and a number of provincial galleries in Cambridge, Oxford and Dublin etc.

Awarded first prize in the East Anglian artists competition. Also producing general art work, for example, the artwork for the working model of the British governments Monorail train. Returned to work in the theatre as a freelance designer and scenic artist, most notable production being the first 20th Century production of Verdi's opera, I Due Foscari, with principles from the Metropolitan Opera house, New York, and Christian Du Plessis, the South African tenor on his U.K. debut role. Invited to Dublin for a season of opera, followed by a number of offers by different companies, such as Quest Productions, the Irish State Touring Co and World Theatre Co.

Designed the Canadian playwright, John Murrell's European premier of Memoir, starring Soibhan McKenna as Sarah Bernhardht, acclaimed by the Irish critics as amongst the most beautiful sets seen on the Dublin stage within living memory and thoroughly deserving of the applause upon curtain up, set of the year transferring to the Ambassadors Theatre, London, also produced the sets for West Side Story at the Shaftesbury Theatre along with a number of London cabaret sets.

While designing for the Irish Theatre Co, introduced to Ardmore International Film Studios, and hence the exciting world of film.

Worked on a number of small budget American films and TV productions plus commercials, culminating in a year's employment on John Boormans Excalibur, working in the design and sculpture departments, along with producing the scenic art for which he is credited.

Invited to join the international crew assembled at the Bavarian film studios working on The Never Ending Story directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Remained in Germany, working on designs and visualisations for several film and TV companies, along with producing artwork and wall paintings for private clients.

Returning to Britain, taught design and painted finishes at the International Film School, Covent Garden and Media production services.

Settling and painting in Wales, accepted a year's contract with Royal Shakespeare Co, at Stratford upon Avon, followed by employment with Nant Film's, Caernarfon, and other companies producing commissions for S4C and BBC Wales. Amongst the design work for S4C was the highly successful BAFTA nominated comedy series C'mon Midfield. Periodically returning abroad to work on such films as Asterix, Costa Gavros's Amen, and the Irish centenary film of James Joyce's Ulysses, entitled Bloom.

Mervyn has held three exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art Wales. The first, titled 'Beautiful Journey' showing a collection of drawings inspired by his extensive travels in China, is an attempt to capture a record of a rapidly vanishing 'older' China. The poster on the homepage depicts one such piece. The second was an exhibition of oils, gouache and drawings of his more personal work. His most recent exhibition was a collection of sketches from his China travels. He continues to make further additions to his portfolio from his regular visits to China.

Mervyn has also published a book in China, presenting all his sketches in one binding also under the title of 'Beautiful Journey'. So successful was its reception in China that it is currently out of print. The coversheet from the book is pictured below.

Book cover