Graham Crowley

6 October – 5 November

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An exhibition of new paintings by Graham Crowley will open on Thursday 6 October and will run until Saturday 5 November.

There are 7 paintings in this exhibition by Crowley, 3 of which are inspired by Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’ painted in 1821.

“As a boy growing up in the 1950s I was vaguely familiar with Constable's 'Hay Wain'. Prior to my first visit to The Tate Gallery in 1968 when I begun studying at St Martins School of Art, I'd only ever seen black and white reproductions of 'The Hay Wain' - in fact almost all reproductions were monochromatic. This is at a time when illustrations in art books were almost entirely printed in black and white. 

Nonetheless I'd always assumed that it was executed in a naturalistic range of colours - green, blue and brown, etc.  A reasonable assumption. I thought it would seem as I had imagined it - familiar and quite conventional. But when I eventually stood in front of it I was transfixed. It wasn't the kind of painting or the sort of experience that I had anticipated. It transcended both. 

That encounter has fuelled my love of painting - and probably my need to paint - throughout the intervening years. 

Recently I've begun to appreciate why this is. I've come to realise that I have the place and the painting conflated - in some curious way they've become one and the same. I believe this is because it's an image of a place that has been simultaneously mythologised yet remains real. It's as if past and present coexist. I continue to find both the painting and the place 'sights' of reverie and reflection. So much so that since moving to south Suffolk two years ago (from west Cork and London) I've been to visit Flatford Mill on six occasions.”

Graham was born in Romford in 1950. He studied at St. Martin’s School of Art London 1968-72 and Royal College of Art London 1972-75. He has held significant teaching posts including Professor of Painting at the RCA. Having spent many years in West Cork, since 2010 he now lives and works in Suffolk.