Karon Staniland who died recently was a Marlborough “face” for over 65 years. As an artist and teacher she inspIred and encouraged generations of students to paint and appreciate art.
Karon was born in St Helier Jersey in 1932 where her parents ran a small hotel. They left Jersey just before the Chanel Islands were occupied by the Germans in in WW2 and relocated to Shepherds Bush in West London.
After studying at the Hammersmith School of Art she worked as scenic artist and designer for various theatres in London and Southampton.
In 1953 she moved to Marlborough where she married Tony Staniland whose grandparents lived in the town.
She loved the area and stayed there for the rest of her life. She juggled a busy life of bringing up a growing brood of children with painting and teaching art at Marlborough Grammar School, Mayfield College and Kingsbury Hill House School.
In 1972, Karon opened the Bajazzo Gallery in Silverless St mounting many exhibitions for both established artists/sculptors and up and coming contemporary painters.
She was a prolific painter in her own right working in watercolour, pastel and oils and painted many local scenes and events including the Marlborough Mop Fair.
Her other love was the Greek Island of Alonissos where she had a small house and would take groups of artists and friends to paint. Her paintings were featured at many exhibitions in the South of England.
One of Karon’s specialities was her charcoal sketches of people and she could often be seen at local events with queue waiting to have their portrait done. She could produce a very accurate likeness in about five minutes! Many Marlborough residents have a “Staniland” hanging on their wall.
In the late 1980’s Karon mounted and directed Artists at Work which was a major event at the Marlborough Festival.
Teaching art always remained her great love, working with both adults and children in small groups. She also gave talks and demonstrations to local art groups. She will mostly be be remembered for her lovely smile and twinkling blue eyes and the flamboyant and colourful outfits that she always wore.
Friends with everyone, missed by many.