Original oil on board by Herefordshire artist Robert Palmer.
Based on the Padstow Pageant.
Image 61 x 77 cms
Including grey exhibition frame 76 x 91 cm
Collect from gallery £1,100
Including UK delivery £1,150
May Day (or ‘Obby ‘Oss Day as it is known) is the biggest day in Padstow’s calendar. It is not unusual to see 30,000 people crammed into this little town on the day when Padstonians from all over the world return to their roots. The origins of the Obby Oss are numerous. Some say the celebration has its roots in pagan times, others that it’s a rain maker, a fertility symbol, a deterrent to a possible landing by the French some centuries ago or perhaps a welcome to the summer.
Locals spend the night decorating the town’s streets with flags, flowers and greenery complete with a maypole and the following morning two “osses”, one red and one blue emerge from their stables. The “osses”, swirling and dancing proceed through Padstow’s streets taunted by a Teazer, who leads the dance with theatrical movements. The accompanying retinue are dressed all in white with their costumes decorated with ribbons and sprays of cowslips and bluebells. As the procession moves around the town, dancers perform a traditional gyrating dance to the sound of musicians and drummers. Last, but not least, are the followers, young and old who join the procession every year singing of the traditional May Song.
The ‘Obby ‘Oss is the inspiration for the song “Padstow” by folk group Steeleye Span. Cowslips, bluebells, sycamore twigs and forget-me-nots are used to decorate the streets.
Artist Robert Palmer was born in Birmingham and studied graphic design and theatrical design at Birmingham College of Art.
After 8 years of working as an artist/designer in a Birmingham advertising studio, he became design director of Gavinbrook Design and Marketing, West Midlands. He resigned after 11 years for family reasons and continued his painting career from home for a series of solo exhibitions.
Robert lived in Kington from 1972 until the late 1980’s when he moved to the Deux Sevres area of France to continue his painting and, hopefully, complete a fantasy book for children and like – minded adults.
In 1994 he moved back to England and settled once again in Herefordshire where he continues to paint in oils , reflecting the corner of France which had been his home, plus his latest fantasies in watercolour on the popular “Bobbledo” theme.