About Me

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My Background

Born in the north west of England in a ‘cotton’ and ‘mining’ town - Leigh near Wigan.  Studied Foundation Art at Wigan School of Art then studied BA (Hons) Fine Art (Painting) at Manchester University followed by MA studies in Fine Art (Painting) also at Manchester.  Amongst the exhibitions I was involved in during this time in the late 70s and 80s was a one-man show at the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh, Greater Manchester; a prestigious, contemporary art gallery.  I have exhibited widely across the UK including the Royal Academy

In the course of my early development as an artist I became a semi professional DJ at a time when Northern Soul music was the dominant form of music in the night clubs of the Greater Manchester area - notably Leigh and Wigan.  This music informed my paintings and in recent years, in particular, has provided the titles for my paintings.  

I left the Northwest in 1984 and joined the Art Department at Millfield School in Somerset – a prestigious private school.  A curious decision to make, leaving behind Art lecturing and being a practising artist - for a teaching post.  An even more curious twist to this tale is that whilst living up North I had qualified as a National Swimming Coach and was coaching at one of Britain's top swimming clubs – Wigan Wasps; subsequently I joined Millfield’s very successful swimming team.

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My Medium

During my time as an artist I have worked in most mediums - oil paints, acrylic paints, inks, watercolour, collage, multi media but  these days I prefer (mainly for practical reasons) to work in acrylic paints and mainly on canvas, although I do also work on paper.

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My Inspiration

“A painting is an artificial work existing outside of nature and needs as much cunning as the perpetration of a crime” – Degas 1887. I have always been intrigued by this statement by Degas. His work, although figurative, has many abstract qualities, especially in terms of composition – some of his compositions are quite amazing even by 21st century comparisons.  My work also attempts to create complex compositions and tries to harness together very disparate elements of art: (drawing) lyrical and gestural abstraction with geometry and structure; spontaneity yet control, order and chaos; colour and form. Eastern Art, particularly Japanese and Chinese Art have always fascinated me, Calligraphy and decorative qualities in Art have also been of great interest to me and have informed my work. The work essentially employs drawing and markmaking activities working together to provide a rhythmic ‘dynamic’ in the work in which colour is dominant. There are ‘accidental’ suggestions of figurative/organic forms which encourage a wider personal engagement with the work and its interpretation; but fundamentally the work is pure abstraction – non referential. Titles of my paintings may conjour up images in the viewers mind but they are for contemplation only rather than a narrative.  These titles come from my passion for 1960s Northern Soul music, which has tremendous energy and sense of abandonment in a physical and romantic context, and which reflects my painting style. I was a DJ in Wigan in the 60s and 70s and my immersion in this music provides me with a meaningful reason to identify my work by the title of a particular piece of music and the memories it evokes. The world I invite you to enter has no signposts or advisory guidelines for the understanding of the work but offers the viewer the freedom of interpretation as you enter into a personal exploration and understanding of my work.  The surface of the painting is kept simple to allow ‘drawing’/expression to be the quintessential feature; and it is in response to the music and energetic dance moves of Northern Soul Music that provide the element of action and dynamism in my work.   

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Bibliography

Exhibitions


1980          University of East Anglia, Sainsbury Visual Art Centre

1980          ICA Galleries, London

1981           Manchester City Art gallery,           

1981           Undercroft Gallery Manchester

1981           Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester

1981           Graves Art gallery Sheffield, 

1981           Preston City Art gallery,         

1982          Sheffield Polytechnic Gallery

1983          Salford City Art Gallery

1983          Turnpike Gallery, Leigh, Greater Manchester (One Man Show)

2000         Mall Galleries, London 

2007          Lewis Gallery, Rugby

2012,13,14,15,16,17,18,19  Atkinson Gallery, Somerset

2014           Sidcot Galleries, Somerset

2014           Silo Gallery, Brighton Arts Festival

2014           Somerset House, Embankment Galleries, London

2015           Pallant House Galleries, Chichester

2015           Minerva Gallery, Chichester

2017           Royal Academy, London

2018           Sewell Gallery Oxford

2018           Atkinson Gallery, Millfield

2018           Castle Gallery, Exeter

2019           Sidcot Galleries, Sidcot, Bristol

2019           HERE Gallery, Bristol

2019           Prideaux Gallery, Farnham



One Man Shows



1983    28 May - 25 June - Turnpike gallery, Leigh, Greater Manchester

2018    7 September – 28 September -  Sewell Gallery, Oxford

2018    5 November – 8 December - Atkinson Gallery, Millfield, Street, Somerset

2019    7 January  – 25 February - Sidcot Gallery, Sidcot, Bristol, Somerset

2019    26 February - HERE Gallery, Bristol

2019    8 November – 28th  - Prideaux Gallery, Lord Wandsworth College, Farnham

2020  6 February - 1 March - Bath Artists Studios

2020  Dates TBC - Ace Art Gallery - Somerton, Somerset


   

Prizes, awards publications etc



  • National Open Art 2014 Featured artist and selected prize-winner for their promotional artwork for the 2014 exhibition at Somerset House
  • Reviews of exhibitions in Artscribe magazine and Abstract Critical on line
  • International Sculpture Commission by Clarks Shoes International in 2006 to create a sculpture competition (and select a winner from the world’s leading sculptors) to produce a large scale sculpture to ‘front’ the entrance to their main factory in Street, Somerset
  • Selector for Allura Malta National Art Exhibition 2018
  • Review of One Man Show in Oxford Times - September 2018
  • Reviews of One Man Show in The Mancunion magazine - September 2018
  • Featured Artist in Somerset Life magazine November 2018 
  • Review of One Man Show in Galleries Magazine November 2018
  • Review of One Man Show in Evolver Magazine by Fiona Robinson November 2018


Curatorial Involvement


Curated over 100 EXHIBITIONS 


Curation of ONE PERSON SHOWS: - 35


John ATKIN’95;  Dianne BARKER’03;  Oliver BARRATT’98;  Basil BEATTIE’04;  Adam BIRTWHISTLE’10;  Day BOWMANN’03;  Malcolm BOWMAN;  Anthony CARO ’01;  Lynn CHADWICK’93;  Doug COCKER ’07;  Barrie COOK’97;  Graham CROWLEY’94;  Terry DOWSE’07;  Elisabeth FRINK;  Anthony GREEN’98;  Simon HITCHINS;  Paul GILDEA’99;  Anthony GORMLEY’92;  Clyde HOPKINS’96;  Bert IRVIN’96;  Patrick JONES’02;  Sarah MCCONKEY’99;  Don MCCULLIN’05;  John MONKS’00;  Shaun MORRIS;  Mauro PERUCHETTI’05;  John PLUMB;  Michael PORTER’94;  Marc QUINN’04; Brian RICE’03;  Peter RANDAL PAGE’98;  Sophie RYDER’08;  Andy WARHOL’03;  Glynn WILLIAMS’97;  Tom WOOD’99;

  

Curation of MIXED EXHIBITIONS:  - 24


Aboriginal Art’96;  At Home with Lionell Philips’04;  Best of British (Painting)’95;  XXCentury Sculpture’98;  Big Time’96;  Camberwell Prints’01;  Cross Currents’00;  Developing Nicely’94;  Elms Lesters - Natural Selection’09;  Figuratively Speaking’08; First Steps’93; Glastonbury40’10; Jordanian Contemporary Art’95; Natural Selection’09; Raising the Spirits’96; Ready Steady Go’93; Responsibility of Forms’06; South West Textiles’94; Sublime’99;  The London Group’95;  Zimbabwe Stone Sculpture’94; Kung Art (South Africa)’95; Royal Photographic Society’09


Curation of INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS: - 5


Cross Currents (South African Art), Jordanian Contemporary Art, Zimbabwe Stone Sculpture, Kung Art (South African Art), Natural Selection (Worldwide)


SCULPTURE COMMISSIONS


1989  Tim Harrison  (Wood)                    1990  Peter Randall-Page (Stone)

1991  Miles Davis (Steel)                           1992  Kevin Jordan (Steel)

1993  Fabian Madamombe (Stone)      1994  Maria Marshall (Fibre Glass)

1995  Neville Gabie (Cast Iron)               1996  David Parker (Steel)

1997  Charles Hadcock (Cast Iron)        1998  Chris Booth (Stone)

1999  Seyed Edalatpour (Stone)           2000  Jane Gledhill (Jesmonite)

2001  William Pye (Stainless Steel)      2002  Edward Goolden (Steel)

2003  Marcus Vergette (Aluminium)  2004  Ian Newbury (Marble)

2005  Julian Wild (Steel)                        2006  Richard Jack (Steel) 

2007  Joanne Berry (Aluminium)        2008  Sarah Moore & Jan Roe (Stainless Stee

 

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