RAM GALLERY 2021
Following an enforced gap year in 2020 due to the Pandemic, the RAM Gallery returned in 2021 along with the Bloodstock Open Air festival itself. Thousands of fans took the opportunity for a bit of rest and respite from the rigours of the festival to enjoy a selection of art, photography, memorabilia, and more in the relative calm of the gallery.
Official Iron Maiden photographer and author of the book 'Iron Maiden: On Board Flight 666' John McMurtrie made his RAM Gallery debut this year, exhibiting some of his award-winning portraits of rock and metal musicians, including Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Metallica's James Hetfield, and, of course, Iron Maiden.
Also making his debut in 2021 was veteran photographer Matt Negus, known for both his live and studio work with a long list of rock and metal bands. In 2015, Matt joined the Bloodstock family, becoming the official photographer for the exclusive backstage tours offered by the festival's Rock Society.
Also new for 2021 was Liam Brandon Murray, a fine art fashion artist with a difference. Liam sculpts wearable art ranging from jackets, shoes and dresses to hats and handbags. Inspiration comes from stately homes and their furnishings, and from alien/futuristic worlds, blurring the line between fine art sculpture and fashion. His debut RAM Gallery exhibit featured a mind-blowing throne/chair and examples of his garments. The throne in particular became an immediate gallery favourite, with a lucky few able to use it for a truly memorable photo opportunity! Liam is among those confirmed to return in 2022.
French artist Mathieu Nozieres had just one featured piece for his RAM Gallery debut, but what a piece it was! Measuring a whopping 60”x 60” 'In The Court Of The Dragon' is an oil on linen painting created for the cover of Trivium's latest album of the same name.
Legendary album cover artist Mark Wilkinson (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Marillion and many, many more) has become a RAM Gallery regular, returning in 2021 with some of the dozens of pieces he created for former Marillion frontman Fish's latest and final solo album 'Weltschmerz'.
No RAM Gallery would be complete without the incredible work of guitar designer and builder Cynosure, whose creations have become as synonymous with the exhibition as those of gallery founder Paul Raymond Gregory. This year's guitars were inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Ronnie James Dio, Eddie Van Halen, and Bloodstock headliner Devin Townsend. Some of Cynosure's guitars from previous years were also on display. With Judas Priest as one of the headliners of Bloodstock 2021, the 'Priest Wall' of artwork and custom Cynosure guitars also made a welcome return.
Several of Paul Raymond Gregory's outstanding album covers for Saxon were on display, along with the customary line-up of his Bloodstock artwork stretching right back to the festival's beginning in 2001. Three lucky competition winners also had their creations featured in the gallery. All in all, 2021 showed the RAM Gallery continuing to go from strength to strength. Plans for 2022 are already well advanced, so watch this space for news!