PEI

How clown art reflects life as social worker

They're not happy clowns, or killer clowns, but the clowns in Robert Milner's art have a dark side inspired by his long career as a social worker.

Robert Milner's first show of clown art on P.E.I. is on in Summerside

The clowns in Milner's art reflect his work as a social worker. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

They're not happy clowns, or killer clowns, but the clowns in Robert Milner's art have a dark side inspired by his long career as a social worker.

Milner moved to P.E.I. six years ago. His career included working with the criminally insane while employed by the probation service in England, and 22 years as a social worker in Quebec. His clown art goes back to his time in the U.K., but this is his first show on P.E.I.

The colours are bright, and the clowns may be smiling, but they are not happy. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

As might be expected from art featuring clowns, the colours in are bright and cheerful, but the clowns are not happy. They are stand ins for his clients.

"You don't want to identify the people that you're actually working with, so you just don't put a face to it. You just put a clown," said Milner.

The paintings manifest the issues he saw every day, from convicted criminals to troubled youth to divorcing couples.

The Clown Art show is currently running at Gallery 33 in Summerside. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

"You could turn these into completely depressed, awful, visual images," said Milner.

"I don't want to do that, because I enjoy life, and if you can't put light into your life then that's sad."

Milner's paintings are currently on display at Gallery 33 in Summerside, P.E.I.

'You don't want to identify the people that you're actually working with,' says Robert Milner. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

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