Born: 1983, Ayr, Scotland.
Graham is a Scottish artist based in East London. He is interested in architecture and the built environment and draws inspiration from the aging estates and urban developments occupying forgotten spaces on the fringes of the city. His influences include artists Gerhard Richter, David Hepher and George Shaw, photographer and filmmaker Chris Leslie and writers George Orwell and JG Ballard.
His recent work includes a series of paintings and drawings responding to the once futuristic concrete tower blocks, low-rise maisonettes and elevated walkways of the Thamesmead estate in South East London, contextualised by the recently approved plans for a £1billion regeneration of the area, which will inevitably see Thamesmead change beyond recognition in the years to come. His work also includes a series of paintings, drawings and prints, depicting the rise and fall of Glasgow’s Red Road estate – a once familiar and dominant feature of Glasgow’s skyline. The work is an investigation of the lifecycle of the estate, from the construction of the flats in the mid-60s to their eventual demolition in 2015. It responds to the scale and geometric aesthetic of the architecture and associated notions of the sublime, as well as the effects of neglect, erosion and decay which have weakened the vast structures over time. In his work he explores the utopian ideas which shaped the original social and architectural concepts for the developments and the themes of transience, isolation and decline associated with them today.
He typically works from source photographs taken during explorations of the places which feature in his work, editing composition and content before preparing a detailed base drawing. Working principally in acrylics, he builds up layers of paint using a combination of controlled brushstrokes, creating areas of definitive and detailed rendering, and much looser methods of working, such as dripping paint and pouring washes on the canvas, leaving traces of pigment referencing the effects of corrosion and decay. He is interested in the dialogue between drawing and painting and the interplay between working meticulously and applying paint more freely.
2014 – 2018: Morley College, London – Printmaking
2009 – 2010: Université Panthéon-Assas, Paris – DSU
2007 – 2009: College of Law, London – GDL & LPC
2005 – 2006: University of Lund, Sweden – LLB (hons)
2003 – 2007: University of Edinburgh – LLB (hons)
2002 – 2003: Edinburgh College of Art – BA Design and Applied Arts
2001 – 2002: Edinburgh College of Art – Foundation