‘I go out drawing in the streets to find characters to paint. These are real people, real moments in time, depicting the ebb and flow of city life. I aim to celebrate and commemorate these people; to leave a trace of these lives lived with my pen, my charcoal and my paintbrush’. Ed Gray
ncreasingly recognised as one of the great contemporary painters of London and Londoners, Gray’s work explores the modern city in all its guises. Walking city streets with sketchbook and pencil in hand Gray takes his inspiration from the real life he encounters. Back in the studio each piece realised celebrates the day to day struggles, ambitions and aspirations that the urban environment provokes in the lives of Londoners, from the everyman and woman to familiar faces on the London scene.
London artist Ed Gray studied fine art at Wimbledon and Cardiff University of Wales. He graduated with a BA Hons. degree in Fine Art in 1995 and undertook a series of jobs to fund his desire to continue painting. In 1998 he trained to be a school teacher and taught art and design at a Peckham secondary school for four years. Increasingly Gray’s work became commercially successful at home and abroad.
Gray curated and exhibited at the London Mayor’s ‘London and Londoners’ exhibition in City Hall in 2010 and has been artist-in-residence at Searcys Club at the Gherkin 30 St Mary Axe building in 2012. A large retrospective of his work took place at the OXO Gallery Blackfriars London in 2014. ‘Londonessence: Adoration’ contained new works inspired by Adoration paintings from the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery.
In recent years, public workshops, dialogues and discussions about his paintings and his muse, the city of London, have accompanied lectures for the University of Connecticut London ‘Widening participation Programme’ and Sir John Soane’s Museum London. Gray has previously delivered workshops for many schools colleges and public institutions such as Tate, and Dulwich Picture Gallery. ‘One Year’ a documentary film about Ed Gray’s paintings was acquired by the Tate Britain Archive in 2012.