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Legacy of Norwich gig photographer to continue with memorial fund

PUBLISHED: 21:32 09 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:26 10 April 2018

Music photographer Rob Powell, who died unexpectedly in February. Picture: Mark Barley

Music photographer Rob Powell, who died unexpectedly in February. Picture: Mark Barley

Copyright belongs to Mark Barley https://www.facebook.com/MBImageStudioEvents1

Family and friends of popular Norwich gig photographer Rob Powell hope to create a “lasting legacy” by establishing a memorial fund to help the next generation.

Rob Powell. Picture: Courtesy the Powell familyRob Powell. Picture: Courtesy the Powell family

Mr Powell died suddenly in February at the age of 37, and more than 100 people braved the snowy conditions to attend his funeral in March.

With a passion for music and photography, he became embedded in the Norwich music scene and established his own business Music Art Study, promoting a host of events including Pam’s House, Norwich Rock’s and Pop up Pictures.

Now his family has teamed up with OPEN Youth Trust to create a fund in his honour. It would pay for free workshops for aspiring photographers between the ages of nine and 19.

Mr Powell’s dad Malcolm Powell, 65, said the fund is a fitting tribute to his son, who was described as “one of life’s genuine good guys” whose “kindness and generosity...truly set him apart”.

Photos taken by Rob Powell for Music Art Study. Picture: Music Art StudyPhotos taken by Rob Powell for Music Art Study. Picture: Music Art Study

“I am hoping we can run this for some years and hopefully it can be self-funding eventually and provide a lasting legacy,” said Mr Powell senior.

“Wex, where Rob used to work, are going to help with equipment and it will be called the MAS photography class, after his business Music Art Study. A student can win the Rob Powell award and can get some recognition for how they have developed.”

Mr Powell was self taught and built up his business from scratch, so would have benefitted hugely from the scheme, his dad added.

“Rob died when he was 37 and he got into photography later in life,” he said. “People couldn’t afford the equipment and he couldn’t afford a decent camera. He spent every spare penny he could on equipment.

Photos taken by Rob Powell for Music Art Study. Picture: Music Art StudyPhotos taken by Rob Powell for Music Art Study. Picture: Music Art Study

“There is so much more you can do if you just learn the basic techniques and turn it into an art form rather than a snapshot.”

An initial fundraising target has been set at £3,000 - to pay for the two sessions a week for the first year.

Hayley Gerrard, head of marketing at OPEN, said: “Robert spent many hours taking photos at live music gigs here at OPEN and where he really developed his talent.

“We feel very proud to be able to carry on the legacy of Robert’s work by helping others carry on from where Robert left off.”

Photos taken by Rob Powell for Music Art Study. Picture: Music Art StudyPhotos taken by Rob Powell for Music Art Study. Picture: Music Art Study

To donate visit the Just Giving page.

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