BILL WARD - Exclusive Report On Absence Of Corners Art Gallery Presentation By Joel Gausten Available

May 12, 2014, 2 years ago

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On May 9th and 10th, former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward presented his fine art series, Absence Of Corners, at the Annapolis Collection Gallery in Annapolis, Maryland. Journalist/author/musician Joel Gausten was in attendance on May 10th and submitted this exclusive report to BraveWords:

Photo by Joel Gausten

Bill Ward built a career out of performing for thousands at a time as the original drummer in the mighty Black Sabbath, but he gave one of his most meaningful presentations for the dozens of art buyers and supporters who attended his May 10 VIP reception at the Annapolis Collection Gallery in Annapolis, MD.

For the final evening gathering in a two-day series of events to celebrate his fine art series Absence of Corners, Ward offered vivid – and often deeply personal – descriptions of a variety of pieces in the collection. Created in collaboration with the Los Angeles-based visual art team SceneFour, Absence of Corners represents Ward at his most honest and emotional. For example, the piece “We Focus. We Persevere” was born from the drummer's recent issues with the band he co-founded in the late '60s.

“This session was done at a very emotional time in my life,” he explained to attendees. “I had a dispute with a band that I love, and still do. The session was on, and these emotions [came] out of me, and we now have them on this canvas.”

Ward added that “We Focus. We Persevere” is intended as a special message to his fellow drummers.

“This is your painting; this is to you,” he proclaimed. “It's my love saying, 'Hey, when we get kicked in the ass, when we're going through bad times and we're going through sickness and what have you, let's pick up our sticks and let's focus and persevere. That's what we do as human beings, and that's what we do as drummers.”

One of Absence of Corners' most intense pieces (and the one my wife Shannon and I own), the sinister “Hello, I Don't Think We've Met (Yet),” displays what could best be described as demons. Ward has been able to identify six such figures in the piece, while SceneFour Creative Director Cory Danziger noted that he's been able to identify nine. No matter how many ghoulish characters your eyes uncover, “Hello, I Don't Think We've Met (Yet)” is a truly haunting visual experience.

“I couldn't resist the title because when I looked at that, it scared me a lot,” Ward revealed. “Again, I was kind of in disbelief because I was in pain; I couldn't believe I was in so much pain, to be honest with you."

Photo courtesy Of Bill Ward

“For most of you, I don't know if you've been there,” added the drummer regarding the title of the piece. “ All you've got to do is look at [the image]; if you've been there, then I'm glad we survived it, man! I'm glad we came through. If you haven't been there, I hope to God you never go there because there are some sordid places on this Earth, and they all live in here (points to his heart).”
“I have a little bit of a sense of humor; it's not all serious,” he continued. “Having met this and having passed through it, I thought about putting my copy of it at the end of the hallway before I turn into the bedroom. Every night, I can say, 'I met you. I know who you are. Thank you and good night!'”

To add to the drama already surrounding “Hello, I Don't Think We've Met (Yet),” an antique clock in the gallery happened to unleash its ominous chime just as Ward began describing the piece.

Above all, Ward expressed his hope that those who have purchased pieces from Absence of Corners feel a personal connection with him through the art.

“I feel like we're joining hands here because this is a really intimate collection,” he said. “It was born out of pain, it was born out of passion and it was born out of experience...When it goes to your home, we're joined as far as I'm concerned. My heart is with you.”

Despite the intense and sometimes dark subject matter discussed during the lecture, Ward maintained a jovial spirit as he chatted with attendees later in the evening. On a deeply personal level, it was a great thrill to finally meet the man face to face after interviewing and conversing with him over the phone on many occasions over the last nine years. Not surprisingly, he was warm and gracious, greeting me with a hearty handshake and joyful smile when he saw that I made the trip down from New England to see him. In addition to expressing great love for the painting that Shannon (who took the plane ride with me) presented to him as a birthday gift (Bill turned 66 on May 5), he expressed his appreciation for my efforts in support of Metal. It's not every day that someone who inspired me to be a drummer and music writer thanks me for my years of supporting him and other Metal musicians through my work. A truly humbling moment.

Thank you for a great evening, Bill! I know I speak for all who attended this special intimate gathering when I say it was a time to remember and cherish always.

More information on Bill Ward's Absence of Corners collection (including pictures of each piece) is available at BillWardDrumArt.com.

Go to this location for more articles on Bill Ward by Joel Gausten.

Photo by Cory Danziger

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