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A Love of Many Things

Vivacity Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery present a new exhibition A Love of Many Things by Graham Crowley.


A Love of Many Things showcases 40 years of work by painter Graham Crowley; but this is not a retrospective, instead Graham describes the show as a collection of obsessions and passions. Graham says: ‘I am asking you, as the viewer, to imagine that you are looking at a group show by five or six painters who have all responded differently to their experience of the last 40 years.’

Graham doesn’t like to pigeonhole his paintings into figurative or abstract, he prefers to categorise them by genres. He regards his early paintings as non-referential, which later evolved into synthetic figuration. Following this he worked on a series of dystopian cityscapes and later on highly coloured landscapes, for which he may be best known. Through his work Graham likes to challenge preconceptions on painting; his large monochromatic flower studies contrast traditional flower paintings, which are often associated with amateur painters who work on a small scale.

As part of the exhibition you’ll encounter interests in Graham’s life, both past and present, which have shaped his work and profession as a painter. This includes his love of music, his custom built OK Supreme motorcycle and collection of stamps, the latter two enthusiasms which led him to becoming the designer of the Great British Motorcycle stamps for the Isle of Man Post Office in 2018.

Place is also a significant influence on Graham’s work. Having grown up in the market town of Romford, he felt that he didn’t experience true urban culture until his time at art school in London, where he met people from different places and backgrounds. Later he lived in Ireland, where his painting took a more reflective direction, juxtaposing fiction and reality within his landscapes. He now lives a more rural life in Suffolk, where he says he is more at home at auto-jumble sales than London’s bustling streets.

A Love of Many Things was on display at Vivacity Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery from 14 June to 8 Sept after which it moved onto Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda, Ireland.

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