BRIAN Aldiss has won critical acclaim across the globe for his science fiction writing.
But the 84-year-old Oxford author has revealed a hidden talent – creating works of art.
Over the past five decades, Mr Aldiss has created about 90 artworks and collected them in his Headington home. Now he is showing them to the public in his first art show.
The exhibition is taking place at the Jam Factory Gallery in Park End Street.
Mr Aldiss said: “I’m crazy about art and I have been doing this for years, but I have always kept it secret up until now.
“I’m having a private launch before the exhibition opens on August 16 and the critical faculties of my guests will be numbed by liberal doses of booze.
“The next day the booze will be gone but the paintings will still be there.”
Mr Aldiss said he hoped members of the public would appreciate his abstract creations.
He added that his family has suggested that he should sell the paintings for up to £1,500 to visitors who wanted to buy them.
Mr Aldiss, whose latest novel Walcot was published last year, said: “The exhibition is called The Other Hemisphere because it refers to a particular side of the brain that is used to create these images.
“I very rarely get stuck when I am writing but I suppose you could say the artwork is therapeutic.
“When you write short stories they can develop organically and the same thing can apply with these pictures.
“You start sticking different coloured paper on and suddenly you get it.
“It wasn’t my intention but apparently I will have to put a price on the paintings.
“When you write a novel you expect some recompense, but I created these pictures for my own satisfaction.
“I have always kept quiet about my artwork but I’m terribly excited about this exhibition.”
Mr Aldiss said although he was busy preparing for the exhibition, his writing days were far from over.
He has written a new sc-fi story called Finches of War, which is set on Mars, and is working on the latest instalment of his autobiography, called As I Was Passing Through Oxford.
“With any luck I will finish it before I kick the bucket,” he said.
The author’s influential stories include Super-Toys Last All Summer Long, which director Steven Spielberg made into the movie Artificial Intelligence: AI in 2001.
Alice Saunders, the curator of the Jam Factory, said the show would run from August 16 to September 29.
She added: “We are very excited about this show and Mr Aldiss keeps coming up with new exhibits which he hopes to include – there must be about 90.”