'Chelston in Lockdown' at Torre Abbey

(Last Updated On: August 18, 2021)

As part of ‘Create to Recover’ local artist Fred Gray Fred was awarded a grant to paint a series of studies of the buildings of Chelston. They ranged from the “Belle Epoque to Terraced Housing”. All were inspired by the artist’s enforced walks during the first lockdown.


Prints showing the stages of the work and the final paintings were shown in local shop windows; with an exhibition first held in Torquay’s terrific Artizan Gallery.

Now Torre Abbey is hosting the exhibition of the ‘Chelston in Lockdown’ paintings plus another twenty of Fred’s works.

Celebrating the Bay’s remarkable architecture, Fred tells us, “Several large paintings completed after the first lockdown ended while other paintings of the area precede the pandemic, all in their own way trying to put down some of the glories of the area. Some places remain almost timeless, others move on. Cliffs slide, new buildings grow, and a few wait with an inbuilt dignity for a new rebirth.”

Fred’s show can be seen in Torre Abbey until 26 September 2021.




Kevin Dixon went to Audley Park – now Torquay Academy – and South Devon College when it was at Torre. After studying at Birmingham City University, he returned home because there’s nowhere else quite like Torquay. He then became involved in community and adult education, completed a PhD at Exeter University , and started writing about the weird and unknown side of town. He now Chairs Healthwatch Torbay and is involved in health and social care in the Bay.