Ken was without doubt one of the more interesting people I have known. He was a larger than life figure who lived a life of deep social commitment and profound engagement with people. Ken was not just a great artist who left a remarkable public artistic record. He was equally committed to social and political justice and participated in radical social justice, anti-war and civil rights movements movements throughout his life.
He was at various times an award wining artist, journalist, cartoonist, print maker, political activist, teacher, trade unionist, parent, psycho-dramatist, psychotherapist, educator/trainer, writer, trade union organiser and filmmaker. Ken was also a war artist who used his artistic skills to document the horror of war and campaign for peace.
Ken was not someone who saw himself as just an artist. His artistic creations were an expression of his deep political commitment and his fight against injustice. He saw himself as a socialist artist and activist, whose work reflected the best traditions of British socialism. I remember talking with him about Paul Robeson, one of my idols, who Ken had known and worked with.
And Ken had a great wellspring of compassion, generosity and humanity that led him to embrace all people he knew and met. There was an immense grace and wisdom to Ken. Despite his remarkable life and success he talked little about himself and his achievements and exploits.
There are some people we meet who we know for just a short period in a long life who touch us deeply. Ken Sprague was one of those people.