Well-known Hastings artist dies, aged 90

Roland Jarvis
Roland Jarvis

A well-known Old Town painter and clock maker has died.

Roland Jarvis passed away at the weekend, aged 90.

His friend, Mark French, paid tribute to him.

He said: “Roland was an inspiration to anyone who knew him. When I made the biographical film, Timelines, about him it was a constant revelation as painting after painting came out of the store.

“I was amazed that so much extraordinary art of this quality had hardly ever been seen. Then he showed me his clocks! A man of many parts, both artist and scientist. Also a great teacher and friend.”

Mr Jarvis was also a sculptor and film maker.

He was of mixed English and French extraction and lived in the Old Town for many years.

Mr French added: “Roland leaves a huge output of material, much of which has never been seen. He was a painter in the long French Cubist tradition and included many Hastings subjects in his paintings, as well as more abstract themes. “He had a very well-received exhibition at the Stade Hall a few years ago and was a regular exhibitor with Open Studios in Old Town Week.”

Educated at King’s College, London originally as an engineer, Mr Jarvis changed to fine art, studying at Chelsea College under Ceri Richards.

Mr French added: “Pursuing a singular path in his art, his engineering skills came to the fore with his extraordinary long case clocks for which he became a Fellow of the Royal Horological Society.

“Long case clocks, commonly known as grandfather clocks, were his masterpieces and featured astronomical and astrological movements. These were all made by hand during the winter months when it was too cold to paint.

“Roland was also well-known for his amusing sculptures, including chess sets and animations made with recycled objects.

“He had many admirers in Hastings and was also an inspiring lecturer in drawing in the fine art department of Brighton College.”

Mr Jarvis is survived by his daughter, Sophie.

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