Treasure Island namesake is a painter not a pirate
Although he has spent his working life at sea and, despite his name which conjures up visions of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Newlyn-based Ben Gunn is a painter and not a pirate, writes Frank Ruhrmund.
A trawler-man, he was born in Wick, not far from John O'Groats, and arrived in Newlyn "by accident".
He and his first wife Helen were en route to Ireland when they stopped off to have a look at the Cornish fishing port, liked what they saw, and stayed.
A few years ago, forced to give up fishing for health reasons, he began to devote his time and energy to painting. A self-taught artist with a sense of humour, he is well-known in his adopted Newlyn for his outdoor works.
From those on both gable ends of the Red Lion Inn to others in Foundry Lane, at the Dolphin Inn, and blue painted rocks by the lifeboat station in the harbour, visitors wonder what they are all about.
He has exhibited at various local venues, from Geevor to the Gurnard's Hotel, and he will be part of this year's Newlyn Art Festival, which runs from October 5 to 19.
During the run of that event he will open his studio which, by courtesy of Shaun Stevenson, he uses in premises once occupied by Peter Ellery and Tremaen Pottery. A studio with a harbour view, it is there that, using almost anything and everything from canvas and card to a kitchen door and slates from the roof, he makes his acrylic paintings.
Well worth seeing, inspired and informed by both the superb view from his studio window and his experiences as a fisherman, they will be on view opposite the lifeboat station from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday October 12 and 2pm to 4pm the following day.