POLISH-born artist Robert Andler-Lipski has lived in some of the world’s most famous cities – but only found ‘perfection’ when he arrived in South Shields.
The 46-year-old was the typical restless artist in his younger days.
He had spells living in Italy, Germany and in London and travelled all over Europe and Asia as an international trip adviser.
But it was only when he came to visit Polish friends in South Shields a decade ago that his long-term future was sealed.
On his first night in South Shields he took a stroll along the beach – and made a pledge there and then to lay down roots in the town.
Now the successful artist, who specialises in mixed media, artistic tapestry and mosaic, has a home and studio in the town, living there with his Polish-born second wife Kate and their two children, Alex, seven, and Natalia, four, who are being raised as ‘Sanddancers’.
I remember that first night in South Shields when I was on the beach. I just fell in love with the place and I made a decision really quickly that this was where I had to lay down roots.Robert Andler-Lipski
Such is his devotion to his adopted country that Robert is now planning to take out British citizenship.
And as a sign of his affection for the people in his adopted home town, he went along to South Shields Town Hall yesterday to present an artistic gift to the borough’s mayor.
He handed over a work entitled ‘Somewhere In Between’ to Fay Cunningham and the mayoress, Stella Matthewson.
The impressive work will now take pride of place inside the Westoe Road building.
Robert said: “I remember that first night in South Shields when I was on the beach. I just fell in love with the place and I made a decision really quickly that this was where I had to lay down roots.
“South Shields is a place with such natural energy, a creative energy. It’s the place I was looking for all my life.”
Robert recently held his ‘Complicated Simplicity’ exhibition at Bede’s World in Jarrow, which the mayoress opened.
The event was a huge success with three of his works being sold to international collectors.
Robert added: “I wanted to give something back to the community of South Tyneside which has been my adopted home for the last 10 years and where my children were born and have grown up.”
The exhibition at Bede’s World was Robert’s first solo UK exhibition.
The show saw his collage ‘Behind the Sunset’, which depicts Marsden Rocks, and ‘Path on the Cliffs in South Shields’ chosen by the Saatchi website as one of the best neo-impressionist artworks on their site. Behind the Sunset subsequently sold on the Saatchi website and two further works have sold on the Art2Arts online gallery to international collectors.
The mayor said: “I feel incredibly privileged to receive this gift on behalf of the people of South Tyneside.
“Robert has lived all over the world but it was in South Tyneside that he found his true sense of belonging and chose to put down his roots. It is a real pleasure to receive this painting as a token of his affection for the borough.”