Portrait of loss: Man who went missing in Kelowna 30 years ago subject of high profile art show

Horvath’s portrait may be displayed across billboard space in the London Underground

Charles Horvath left England just over 30 years ago to embark on a Canadian adventure.

He never returned to his home country — a fact that has haunted his mother all these years — but tonight and in the days ahead, his fellow countrymen and women will nonetheless get a chance to see his smile.

Charles’s portrait was painted by artist Ian Bruce, and is among several dozen featured in the show Unmissable.

His mom, Denise Allan Horvath, was getting ready for opening night of the London art show Thursday, and explained it’s bittersweet to have her son included in the exhibition.

READ MORE: REVIVED INTEREST IN COLD CASE

“Out of the hundreds of thousands of missing people, I am fortunate that Charles’ portrait is included, it’s a struggle to get coverage (of his situation) both in Canada and (England),” she said.

That attention has yet to offer answers about who or what stopped her son from coming home all those years ago. May 26 will be the 30th anniversary of his disappearance, and there has been no resolution.

The portrait of Charles painted by Ian Bruce, is set within a clock “to emphasize the passing of time felt when someone is missing,” and though it highlights her struggle, she likes how he’s been rendered.

“It’s very strong colours, and it’s very good. He’s a sensitive artist,” she said, noting that the portrait within a clock is something many have commented on.

It’s an image that may become familiar in the days ahead.

READ MORE: TV PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS CHARLES

It’s part of The Other Art Fair to mark the 25th anniversary of the Missing People charity.

The show is curated by Ben Moore, whose brother Tom has been missing since 2003.

His portrait is also included in the show.

The works will be on sale at the fair and online via the Paddle8 auction site from March 14 to 28.

All proceeds of artwork sales will be going to the Missing People charity. The portraits are also being displayed across billboard space in the London Underground in collaboration with public art enterprises Art Below.

Charles went missing from Kelowna in 1989, when he was just 20 years old.

He had been on a “gap year” backpacking and the investigation into his disappearance has continually failed to reach any conclusions.

Horvath-Allan said she believes the secret to what happened to her son begins around the old Tiny Town campsite where her son had been staying in a tent, but evidence to solve the mystery disappearance remains elusive.

She has no doubt that foul play was involved and can’t understand how people who might have information about his disappearance have remained silent.

“I would like to know where he came to rest the day he died, who was responsible and why he died. I don’t care about the rest,” she said, in a recent interview.

“I just want to end the nightmare. My mom went to her grave 17 years ago tormented by not knowing what happened to her grandson and watch her daughter drag herself around the world trying to find him.”

Horvath-Allan was in Kelowna in recent months to deal with paperwork in Canada and England to legally obtain a Presumption Of Death statement for Charles, so she can deal with his outstanding financial issues.

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