We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.

artist apartment protected

Artist's apartment gains protected status after his death

You move into an apartment and can't wait to decorate it however you'd like but unfortunately you're pretty limited on what you can do. Most apartments don't approve anything that can't be easily removed, some don't even allow you to paint. One man in England decided that he was going to make his apartment his own by decorating it with his artwork.

Ron Gittins was an artist that lived in the same apartment for over 30 years before his death. During his time in the apartment, the artist had created art all over the walls. Not just elaborate paintings but huge sculptures affixed to the walls that took up the wall's entirety. His family visited the home after Gittins passed away, they were shocked to find such massive elaborate art pieces throughout the home.

The artist died in September 2019 according to CNN, but if you stepped into the home now, you'd see everything still in its place.

No one had been able to visit the man when he was alive as he discouraged people from coming over. After his death, his niece finally got to see what was behind the door. Outside of piles of art supplies, boxes and other items, the home was full of this amazing artwork that simply couldn't be destroyed. At least that what Gittins' niece, Jan Williams and partner Chris Teasdale thought, so they decided to petition to have it preserved.

“We always kept in touch but he did have some mental health problems and could create some difficult situations,” a family member explains to artnet. “But he didn’t seem to worry if other people sometimes thought he was mad. I think he believed he was ahead of the game somehow and if other people didn’t get it then that was their problem.”

Williams explains to CNN that her uncle was very flamboyant and would often go out dressed in costumes foraging for things to bring back home. It wouldn't be surprising if he was collecting things to include in his artwork. Thanks to the effort of Gittins' niece and her partner, others can enjoy his massive works of art at "Ron's Place," which is what they named the now protected site.

Williams and Teasdale, who are also artists started Wirral Arts and Culture Community Land Trust to crowdfund to save the apartment. Eventually the trust collected enough money through benefactors for the purchase of the entire apartment building and had been waiting for the special status granted by Britain's Department for Culture.

Walking into the apartment is like walking into an art museum. He created larger than life animals to accent the fire places. One fireplace has a large lion's head on it with its mouth wide open like it's roaring, and inside the lion's mouth is the opening of the fire place. There another one that has the head of a minotaur decorating it. Large murals are painted on all the walls that depict ancient Roman scenes.

"Ron always had his own particular vision and tended to work outside the parameters of the official art world. Although he sometimes undertook portrait commissions, he was more concerned with giving free reign to his imagination resulting in the creation of immersive visionary environments," Ron's Place website reads.

Recently, Ron's Place was granted Grade II status which protects it from being destroyed in anyway as it has "more than special interest." The rest of the apartment building won't go to waste. According to CNN, the other apartments will be renovated and turned into artist studios where people could come to work on their art. Seems Gittins' passion for art will live on through others who visit his home and those that create works of art in the same apartment building.