Solo exhibition of drawings, paint and sculpture at Stella Dore on Norman Road 

Street and contemporary artist Rugman (a.k.a Anthony McEwan) descends on the town of Hastings & St. Leonards on Sea, bringing stencils, drawings and sculptures with him for an original exhibition titled ‘The Holy Rebel’.


Before he became Rugman, young Anthony was dragged up in separatist Glasgow and from a very young age had the fear of God put into him at the Catholic school he attended. He remembers the iconography of a bleeding, crucified Christ on the cross, larger than life, bearing down on him, accompanied by threats of a fiery hell, terrifying his impressionable young brain. This is in the days when Glasgow was split according to which denomination of the church you belonged and this dictated everything – even down to the colours you could like – Catholic green or Protestant blue. Anthony’s solace came when he was around 9 or 10 years old as he discovered skateboarding, music and art, which gave him an outlet through which he could rebel against this indoctrination.

‘The Holy Rebel’ is the artist’s opportunity to reconcile this hellfire beginning with the present day. It is important that the viewer doesn’t see this exhibit as pointing fun or fingers at Catholicism. It is about one man’s journey to come to terms with his past, to make light of the heavy and serious nature of good and evil, and find a way forward, past the fear. The exhibition features a brand new body of work created specifically for ‘The Holy Rebel’ exhibition. Using well recognised rebellious icons the artist has twisted them to bring them into the 21st century, combining skateboarding, tattoos and motorcycle graphics to create a new dialogue.

Rugman began his career 19 years ago as a graphic designer in the fashion industry. He has worked with everyone from Donna Karen and Calvin Klein to Vans. His own clothing label “Rum Knuckles” is particularly successful and has a sell out fragrance commissioned by a leading high street store. Collectors of his art work include the actor Tom Hardy, rapper Plan B and singer Maveric Saber among others. Previous solo exhibitions in the UK were held at the Saatchi Gallery and Jealous Gallery in London.

Stella Dore Gallery is based in St Leonards-on-Sea and run by Steph Warren. Steph has worked with internationally renowned street artists since 2004. The gallery sells original artwork, limited edition screen prints, independent books and organises exhibitions and public murals for emerging as well as established artists. The exhibition opens on Friday 21st June 2019, from 6.00-9.00pm, and runs until Saturday 20th July 2019. 

• Gallery opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 11.00am – 4.00pm

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