Born in the United Kingdom in 1967, Graham spent his early years in East Anglia, Canberra and Sydney. He studied Architecture at Sydney University, where students were actively encouraged to pursue fine arts courses. Lloyd Rees and Guy Warren were inspirational as his teachers in art history and theory.
After graduating in 1991, he moved to Perth to join an architectural practice specialising in climate-sensitive design. Whilst in Perth he studied drawing, painting and printmaking, at the Claremont School of Art, and held several very successful exhibitions of paintings.
Over the last 12 years Graham has made frequent trips to Asia, and in particular to India, where his passion for classical Indian minature painting originated. Graham has been based in Sydney since 1998, where he works as an architect and painter. His work is represented in various private collections in Australia and overseas.
Other than near sell-out exhibitions Graham‘s artistic work has been in the form of commissions for paintings, book illustrations and CD cover art.
In the future he plans to devote more time to exhibitions.
The art can be characterised by a desire to impart a sense of the sacred, whether the subject matter is drawn from Eastern or Western religious heritage. The term 'sacred' carries much baggage with it, but here is used without reference to any dogmatic divisions between things. This sense of the sacred can be seen, not only in icons but in landscapes; even in simple still life arrangements. Where real objects or prototype images are used as models, they are points of departure only; the paintings ultimately originate within. Particular sources of inspiration are the Buddhist frescoes of Ajanta, the mughal miniature paintings produced for the court of Akbar, and the icons of Andrei Rublev.
Indian miniature paintings are a great inspiration, not only for their exquisite detail but for the rich colours they often employ. The technique for both Western icon and Indian miniature painting technique is similar: both use gouache or tempera rather than oil-based paints. Oil paints are slow-drying and can be blended and reblended. Gouache is fast-drying and does not allow much blending; instead flat areas of pigment are applied, and blendings of colour, and gradations of tone, are built up with fine hatching brushstrokes. The advantage over oil painting is a greater purity of colour. Gold leaf is often applied for richness. There is an emphasis on line rather than tone, two dimensional design over persective effects.