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robin gray

Born: 9th April 1942
Studied: Beckenham School of Art 1958 - 1962
Ravensbourne College of Art & Design 1962 – 1963

Robin Gray studied at Beckenham School of Art from 1958 to 1962 where he specialised in painting. He held his first One Man Exhibition in 1965 in the Sun Lounge at Fairfield, Croydon where his brightly coloured Acrylic paintings caused a lot of interest and sold well. He was one of the first painters to use the new acrylic paint and he has continued to do so. For many years two of his large paintings were displayed at the entrance to Fairfield’s Ashcroft Theatre. In 1969 he was chosen to exhibit in the British section of Art International in London, but he was already enjoying his new profession, that of teaching.

Always believing that the art teacher should never forget that he is first and foremost an artist he has continued to successfully combine teaching art and photography with painting.

Right from the start, his interest in natural history, geology and fossils, and all things microscopic, influenced his work and soon he was being described as a creator of ‘organic abstracts’ and art critics often found interesting ways of describing his work.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Gray continued to combine teaching and painting, often using his school art rooms as a studio during the school holidays. At times he would work through the night when painting was going well and he would also feed on the success of his students. He was one of the first to teach ‘O’level photography in schools, he sat on the SE Regional examination board for Art CSE and was a visiting lecturer at the Teacher Training School of Sussex University: all this and regular art exhibitions as well. His work was regularly shown in London.

Continued below.....

Robin Gray


Her G's HouseHer G's House - Acrylic

Describing and titling his work has always been a problem. Although, meticulous in its detail, and avoiding ‘happy accidents’ like the plague, Gray finds it hard to say exactly where his inspiration comes from. A colour or composition may suggest itself but the way the composition develops is done in an unconscious, almost instinctive way and it is not until later that the source of the inspiration may reveal itself.

The Artist and Critic, Michael Harvey wrote, ‘............his particular discovery smacks of the authentic and carries conviction, at times almost frightening

It was during the late 70s that he and his wife Sue moved to Somerset in order to spend more time exploring the Mendip caves. The caves were exciting sources of inspiration and to please caver friends, Gray made many realistic paintings, using oil pastels, and chalks which have proved very popular. It is for these pictures that he best known in the South West and in caving regions around the world. He is Chairman of the International Society for Spelaeological Art.

The abstract paintings may well come as a surprise to local collectors who think they know his work.

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