“ Arfon, this clever and very delightful artist to whom I am dedicating Handel’s catalogue of three decades, will live from strength to strength through his chosen career”
Handel Cromwell Evans was born in Pontypridd, Glamorgan Wales. He was named after the famous composer after his father Joeseph had conducted the Messiah a few days before his birth. Joeseph was a licentiate of the London College of Music who had descended from a family of singers and was said to have had a baritone voice. He had however failed to win a scholarship for his singing in 1934, prompting a nervous breakdown and vowed "never to sing another note in my life". His mother was a designer and fitter from the West End couture houses. The love of music was passed to Handel at an early age and was taught music. He passed his piano exam at the age of four, he was so small he had to be lifted onto his stool by the examiner!
Despite his skills in music he decided to concentrate on his art he studied painting at Cardiff collage of Art from 1949 to 1954, taught by David Tinker and Eric Malthouse. His early works ranged from carbon portraits to gouache. He never strayed from music however as he became a licentiate of the Royal Academy of music. Mentoring under Clifford H. Lewis, who urged his parents to sell everything if necessary to fund his study of the Alexander Technique, to improve his posture.
|'The Vaults' by Handel Evans © University of Wales 1989
He produced a series of 100 drawings entitled 'Employees' demonstrating sympathy for man's machines and also man's rejection of them. After a period in Germany and Italy he attended the prestigious British school in Rome until 1963. After further painting in the West Indies, London, Italy, the US and Canada. 1968 he had an exhibition at the Lyford Clay gallery in the Bahamas.
From 1975 - 76 he studied etching with Stanley Williams Hayter at Ateleir 17, in Paris. In 1978 Dr. Eugene Garfield founder of the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) in Phildelphia, commissioned a portrait. Handel created'Interpenetrations'. A study painted in oil and canvas Handel remarked that the painting was a,"visual metaphor of the relationship between mind and information"
|"lnterpenetrations" by Handel Evans © University of Wales 1978
Shortly after his death a memorial show was held at the Korbach Museum in Germany. In 2001 he was posthumously awarded the first Contemporary Culture Award by the National Welsh-American Foundation. In 2004, The Handel Evans Collection, Archive and Trust Fund was established at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth ‘Interpenetration’s was donated by Professor Eugene Garfield and added to the archive of a thousand items ranging from paintings and drawings along with his two pianos (One believed to have belonged to a high-ranking Nazi Party official).
Described by close friend, professor of Art in Wales Dr. Alistair Crawford as a "tall, erect, elegant, handsome man with a well groomed beard. A charming, debonair man with an inner attraction."
Fondly remembered as an artist often having spurts of vegetarianism, who would ask for the return of his packing materials, often hiding his strict personality. A ruthlessly self-obsessed man, sometimes bitter about 'celebrated' artists. A closet workaholic, driven by obsession, a highly disciplined artist, and an absolute perfectionist.
© Arfon Jones 2009. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.