David Bent works acquired for Swindon art collection

7th July 2017


I do like share a bit of good news on this blog listeners. And this is certainly that.

Now if it were left to me I’d have a place in Swindon’s art collection for dozens of Swindon artists. But until that’s possible it’s great that, in addition to works by the fabulous Ken White, both Creative Wiltshire and Swindon Borough Council have acquired works by David Bent. Because they both absolutely deserve to be there. So hurrah!

david bent - swindon museum and art gallery


David Bent: https://swindonian.me/category/artscultureheritage/david-bent/

Ken White: https://swindonian.me/category/artscultureheritage/ken-white/

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery: http://swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MuseumandArtGallery/

 Swindon museum and art gallery

Swindon Borough Council are delighted to announce their most recent acquisitions to the Collections via the Creative Wiltshire project

‘These new works include a stunning landscape painting and prints by local artist David Bent.  The painting, Beach House West of Looe, from David’s Landscape Geometry series will go on display from 19 July until 18 November as part of ‘The Lie of the Land exhibition’, which explores Modern British Landscapes from the Swindon Collection.  This exhibition will also feature artists such as Richard Long, Mary Fedden, Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell.

The Museum and Art Gallery has also obtained two prints from his innovative Aerobot photo collage collection which were first exhibited at the nearby Royal International Air Tattoo. David is credited as leading a new movement in modern aviation art. 

This work has been purchased by the Creative Wiltshire project, which aims to acquire works by creative people across Swindon and Wiltshire. 

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and also recently secured a work by Swindon artist Ken White for the Swindon Collection as well as ceramics by Sasha Wardell, Trevor Chaplin and Patricia Volk, paintings by David Rolt, and prints by Howard Hodgkin and Joe Tilson. 

Creative Wiltshire has also purchased David’s work (including books, a box set of Movement 2000 and prints) for the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre and said “We are delighted that Swindon has acquired these wonderful works by David Bent. David is a talented and popular artist who has such a strong connection with Swindon and the surrounding area. It has been a pleasure working with David to select the works for Swindon and for the History centre and we feel they provide a fitting tribute to David’s long career. We hope visitors will enjoy discovering his work in forthcoming exhibitions.”

David said: “I am proud to have my work represented in the prestigious Swindon collection, sitting alongside works created by a number of great artists that have inspired and influenced me.  I am equally pleased that the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre have chosen to acquire a number of pieces.” 

For further information please contact Nicki Western, Marketing Manager, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, 01793 466560 or emailnwestern@swindon.gov.uk


David Bent
David Bent lives and works in Swindon.  His long career has taken him all over the world. Born in Dover, he has travelled extensively. His art shows the influences of the places he has visited, as well as his fascination with current affairs. In recent years he has been strongly associated with the Red Arrows, who have inspired a number of paintings within his Art of Flight series. David was recently awarded the rare distinction of Honorary Companionship of the Royal Aeronautical Society in tribute to his work. He is the first artist in 30 years to be awarded this. 

David Bent Studio: http://davidbentstudio.com

Aerobots images by David Bent

Disco and Diva Bot

There’s a nice blog here about David’s aerobots by Ray Kurzweils now Google technical director.

Spirited machines: The robots of acclaimed high tech artist David Bent  – Here’s an extract:

‘ …. 

Question: The Aerobots series is a departure for you. What was your inspiration?

David Bent: I am inspired and led to a certain extent by my general interest in science and technology, but nature and the human condition are also big influences on me. As a practicing artist, I always aim to infuse my work with the power of personal observation, skill and insights.
For me the relationship between Art, Science and Mathematics can be described as a drawn circle with a small gap at the end. Art is at one end of the open circle and science at the other. They are very close if you are prepared to jump the gap, if not you have to travel all the way around the circle and they become a long way apart. I like to jump the gap.’

Creative Wiltshire
Creative Wiltshire is a five year project which started in 2015 and aims to acquire work by creative people from Swindon and Wiltshire to fill significant gaps in the collections across Wiltshire.

Wiltshire Local Studies, based at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham, received £178,000 HLF Collecting Cultures grant towards the five year project totalling £213,550 and materials are being acquired by accredited museums in the county of Wiltshire and Borough of Swindon, including Swindon Museum and Art Gallery and the Salisbury Museum.


Mural Men

20 January 2017


The Mural Men: Ken White and David Bent

I am the mural man, I come from far away and I can paint – yes I can paint. What can you paint – I can paint murals!

‘It’s a small world’. A cliché? Yup. But true. And listeners it doesn’t get much truer than this!

In the early days of this blog I devised a list of things to celebrate about Swindon. And on that list I placed Ken White. A son of Swindon, Ken has made his mark on the world literally and figuratively with his artistic talent.

Famed for his murals and for being the creator of Virgin airline’s red lady emblem Ken has far more bristles to his brush than that. You can find out a bit more about Ken here: https://swindonian.me/2013/07/13/ten-things-i-like-about-swindon-no-5-ken-white-swindons-mural-man/

Read more about Ken’s murals here: http://www.kenwhitemurals.co.uk/home/

Now, at the time I was writing about Ken I knew nothing of the existence in Swindon of David  Bent. Had I done I would certainly have included him and his art on my celebratory list.

David is a Born again Swindonian like me – funnily enough I think we’ve both been here around the same number of years.

David too is a talented and renowned artist being particularly well-known for his aviation art. Though he too, like Ken, has many brushes in many paint pots. Here’s a link to a couple of the posts on this blog concerning David: https://swindonian.me/2014/09/24/david-bent-choosing-swindon/ and: https://swindonian.me/2015/11/02/movement-2000-art-collection-seeks-home/

I’m fortunate in recent years to have got to know David, and his fabulous wife Carole, very well. And it was on a recent visit to David’s studio – Swindon Open Studios maybe? – anyway – that I learned that he too had been a mural painter back in the day.

In a wonderful bit of symmetry that life, the universe and everything (42) is full of it turns out there was a time when, unknown and unbeknownst to each other, they were painting murals in London with only a street or two between them.  David was working as a youth worker specialising in art project work and Ken was working on one of his famous commissions for Richard Branson – he of the Virgin empire. As Carole herself said, it’s not impossible that they drank in the same pubs.

And now here they are, living in the same town, still painting. Though no muriels sadly. That said – if anyone is offering I’ve got a garden wall crying out

The image below shows an article in a 1979 issue of The Telegraph featuring both David Bent and Ken White painting their murals in London at the same time. Like I said – it’s a small world. Albeit with big murals. And pots and pots of pots of paint.

David Bent & Ken White The Telegraph 1979 - The Mural Men Ken White and David Bent

David Bent & Ken White The Telegraph 1979

See more of David’s murals – and explore his other art work here: http://davidbentstudio.com/gallery/retrospective/murals.html

So two mural men, two world-class artists in one town. One born and bred here. One choosing here. Either way, what’s not to celebrate about that?




A blue plaque above the Dors

14th January 2017


Diana Dors gets a blue plaque

Diana Dors blue plaque

‘I’m the kind of girl that things naturally happen to. When they don’t, I give them a push’.

Well! It’s not every day you see a candy pink Cadillac in Old Town that’s for sure. How come? The occasion of the unveiling of a blue plaque to commemorate someone that surely must rank as Swindon’s most famous daughter? None other than Diana Dors!


And about time too I say. So all kudos and thanks to the good people of Swindon Heritage magazine for adding Diana to the growing number of blue plaques gracing Swindon’s walls. We’ve so far got Edith New, Swindon’s suffragette, and the Starr brothers – now Diana joins them. Read more about them here: http://www.swindonheritage.com/swindons-blue-plaques/

It’s really kinda odd. When I watched Diana Dors in films and TV when I was growing up who would’ve thought I’d end up living in the town that was her birthplace? I like that. I’ve always been something of a fan.

Dors was often given the epithet of the ‘British Marilyn Monroe’ – but I think that’s to do her an injustice. She was a fine actress who arguably never reached her full potential.

The plaque was unveiled by her son Jason Lake (from her final marriage to Alan Lake) and her granddaughter Ruby – who I fancy has a look of Diana about her.


Bust of Diana Dors

Bust of Diana Dors

Here’s the car that serves as a mytonomy, well a Thunderbird and Ford Mustang too I guess, of the American Dream that was so incongruously parked on a street in Old Town today. Isn’t it amazing? How wonderful must it have been to drive around in that in the Hollywood sunshine? So, so cool. I’m so jealous. I’d love a ride in such a car.

The car was a gift to Diana from Shepperton Studios. It used to bear the registration DD200. It’s now owned by Mendip Cars and is available for hire. https://www.rrelite.co.uk/cars/1959-pink-cadillac-convertible

And some film of the day from Tom Sykes of Solo 16: 


Thanks Tom for letting me share that.

See also: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-38622372



I’ve written on this blog already about the wonderful larger than life sculpture of the actress that Swindon is home to. See:

West Swindon sculpture walk – Part 1 – Diana Dors

And also:



David Bent at Russell-Cotes

3rd September 2016


David Bent, Russell-Cotes and a bender round Bournemouth

Well I say bender. It was more a sedate meander with Carole Bent (the fabulous wife 😉 ) around the wonderful Russell-Cotes museum, David’s exhibition there and beautiful Bournemouth on the best, brilliantly sunny and perfect day.

David is currently exhibiting at the Russell-Cotes museum so Carole kindly took me down there to visit as she had a meeting there. While she was busy doing important meeting stuff I was lucky enough to have a gander around this utter gem of a place. I’d never heard of it let alone been to it – and if you haven’t then you must! Preferably while David’s exhibition is still running because his art is wonderful and worth seeing always – but just generally too.

So now you get the pleasure of some of my characteristically out-of-focus photos – it’s my trademark okay?

And yes – I KNOW this blog is about Swindon not Bournemouth but David has lived here for eons now so he’s as much a Swindonian as I am. And he and Carole are involved in many Swindon things and this is his art and anyway – as I’ve said many times – there’s no point having a bloody blog if you can’t give a shout-out to friends. So here we are. 😉

The Russell-Cotes Museum:




David Bent Studios: http://davidbentstudio.com

David Bent exhibits at Russell-Cotes – 17th August to 16th October 2016

David Bent chats to member of Red Arrows

David Bent chats to member of Red Arrows

David and Carole Bent with the Reds

David and Carole Bent with the Reds


The Russell-Cotes Museum and Gallery

Having mentioned the place – it’d be rude not to eh? And it IS a fabulous place. Is it just me or does that building remind you of something from the Adams Family?

Read more about David:

David Bent: choosing Swindon




Hitesh Mistry: Higher

13th April 201

Greetings listeners!


I recently published a post featuring five songs/music videos with a Swindon connection  – a follow up to which is coming soon.

In that five I included two songs by a talented young Swindon man by the name of Hitesh Mistry. But this post is dedicated entirely to Hitish and his newest song: ‘Higher’. He wants to get lots of views on it on his YouTube channel #obvs – so if you click on the link below and have a listen he’d be highly delighted I’m sure.

Hitesh Mistry

Hitesh Mistry

Hitesh lives in West Swindon and his videos are so far all made around Swindon – so if nothing else it’s quite fun seeing what you recognise.

15 years old and the son of Ash & Sheela, owners of the Eggelicious empire, Hitesh is the youngest member of the clan and has been writing songs since he was 11.

All of them support the family business in some way and Hitish is the fish marinader. Singer/songwriter and fish marinader. That’s some CV!

As well as flying solo Hitesh also plays in a band called The Tribe but his Youtube videos are all of him solo singing and playing.

Now here is Hitesh and ‘Higher’. Enjoy.