Pro IQRA News Updates.
A house titled “The Strangest Property Ever” is going up for auction next week despite the campaigns keeping it alive – it contains works and collections by the late artist Ron Gittins.
The artist from Wirral, Merseyside passed away at the age of 80 in September 2019, leaving his famous home and museum known as Ron’s Place deserted and unoccupied.
Ron has spent 33 years sculpting the property into an exotic menagerie of artwork inside — but on Wednesday Ron Place could be in anyone’s hands.
Ron began renting out his ground floor apartment in 1986 as the lease agreement allowed him to decorate the interior of the property to his taste without the landlord’s prior written consent.
The house itself is filled to the brim with an extensive collection of artwork and sculptures, largely featuring Egyptian and Greek deities.
The property has some notable pieces which include a giant three meter high concrete lion fireplace that opens at the mouth of the beast.
The walls and ceilings seem to follow the theme of ancient Greece or Egypt as inscriptions and ciphers surround the walls.
The house also pays homage to many of the famous figures of its time including Tutankhamun, the Minotaur and, oddly enough, even a room dedicated to the Napoleonic army.
The entire house is full of oddities like doll heads, paintbrushes, old magazines, and drawings found in every crevice.
The exterior of the home also provides a glimpse into the fairytale wonderland that lies within as two stone totems can be seen next to the front door.
Ron himself was a self-employed artist who gained a reputation around Merseyside, but left no clues as to what was inside his home.
Only when Ron died did his family find out about his apartment.
Since the apartment lacked many of the comforts of home, there was hardly any room for friends or family to stay or visit.
Instead, Ron’s fictional world was only discovered by his sister Pat and her husband Henry shortly after his death, leaving the couple overwhelmed.
However, since Ron never purchased the apartment, the owner posthumously decided to put the property on the market again in November.
After discovering this and fearing that his creations would die with him, Ron’s family decided to launch the “Save Ron’s Place” campaign.
Their goal is to raise enough money to buy the entire apartment and save Ron’s secret legacy.
Speaking today, Ron’s niece, Jean Williams, said: “There’s a lot of love for Ron Bliss and it’s great but it’s not enough.
“We have worked tirelessly as guardians and advocates to save the magical world that Ron has created in his rented apartment.
“It is a difficult time right now and we need serious support or we will be lost forever. Unsurprisingly, media attention has been focused on the amazing world Ron has created.
“We need to turn the narrative into what Ron Bliss can do.
It has enormous potential to inspire all kinds of people to explore their own creativity, and everyone who crosses the threshold is amazed by the sheer scale and magnificence of one man’s creative output.
“What we urgently need right now is an investment partner – donor or foundation – to secure the purchase of Ron’s Place at auction on March 1.
Once we have security of tenure, we (the Wirral Arts and Culture Community Land Trust) will be in a position to raise funds to make Ron’s Place a viable proposition.
“We started the fundraiser about a month ago just to raise awareness of the situation and see if we could find someone interested in partnering with us to buy the building.
“We have been stunned by the response, getting close to £10,000 from 340 people.
We still need a sympathetic partner to buy the property, especially if it doesn’t sell at auction.
“All funds raised will go towards archiving, preserving, storing and using Ron’s contents for community projects moving forward no matter what.”
Jean continued: “Ron was such a colorful character, he always did things his own way.
“It was natural for Ron to go into the shops dressed as a Roman centurion, and to entertain customers and employees at NatWest Bank with his guitar.
“My parents — Ron’s sister and her husband — were the first to come in after Ron passed.
“When we were browsing through Ron’s stuff, I found a postcard addressed to me that said he would love to show me what he was making.
“I had moved to Portsmouth to study fine art and had somewhat lost touch with him.
“Unfortunately I never received the card because he wrote the wrong address on it. It’s nice to know he wanted to show me anyway.”
“It would be sacrilege to destroy this unique, internationally recognized ‘palace of art’, the Magnolia Painting and turn it into an ordinary house when it had so much potential to inspire all kinds of people, including those not normally involved in art – to explore their creativity.”
The property has recently attracted a lot of attention after home hunter Elena Rosewell posted a video of the property listing on Rightmove as she walked through this odd find.
The video begins with Elena, 26, speaking to the camera while eerie music can be heard in the background.
She says, “Guys, I want to show you this property that is up for auction in my area.
“Well at first glance you look like oh, normal, you look normal, maybe a little scary but it looks normal,” showing the front of the house as well as the standard kitchen area.
“You know, a pretty bog-standard kitchen, and then you keep going and saying, ‘Oh, it’s starting to get a little weird.
Then she delves into Ron’s creations showing a shrine-like structure built into a wall, saying, “Like, is this a shrine? What’s going on here?”
“Just wait, just wait, at first glance, you like a normal living room, right? Wrong.
“Let me zoom in here, there are two pairs of legs on the chair, and on the next chair there is this (she points to a half-mannequin resting on top of the chair).
“It’s getting weirder, Boom, there’s a Minotaur fireplace. Minotaur fireplace.
“This is not the end, in the other room there is a lion fireplace.
“What’s going on in The Lion and the Witch and the Wardrobe, what’s going on?
“Apparently, it was owned by a local artist who passed away – RIP Ron, but wow, imagine waking up in the middle of the night.”
The video got over 5,200 likes and dozens of comments from users who were a little spooked by Ron’s bizarre creations.
One TikTok user wrote: “I take a lot wiser out there.”
Another wrote: “When is the auction? I invest in whoever buys it.”
Another commented, “The lion, the minotaur, and the single legs.”
Another wrote: “There is no way this isn’t haunted.”
Speaking to us today from the Wirral, Merseyside, she said: ‘My first reaction was ‘Wow this place is crazy’. I saw it on the auction site initially without knowing the backstory of the building.
“At first glance I thought it might be haunted because the inside is creepy but it’s hypnotic, you want to see more.
The decor itself is not to everyone’s taste but it is certainly impressive and Ron was clearly a talented and passionate man.
“Now that I look at the backstory of the building, I feel that Ron’s safe place was his art, and that art has advanced his legacy.
“It’s definitely a bold choice for interior design, and it’s very different from anything I’ve seen in person.
“I can only imagine waking up in the middle of the night and seeing a huge lion staring at you!
“The reaction was very mixed – some people just creeped it out, but there was also a lot of support for Ron and his art and a lot of people said they hoped it would stay that way.”
As it stands, Ron’s fantasy world is going up for auction tomorrow (March 01) and the campaign still needs more donations to save his work.
If you would like to donate to #SavingRonsPlace Gofundme, please visit: https://gofund.me/1040014d