Graeme Welch 179sc

Graeme Welch

Graeme Welch is an artist compelled to express on canvas allegorical panoramas that probe into strange and complex aspects of the human condition. He does this by drawing the human figure in situations that are a combination of personal experience and the events and ideas of the times through which he has lived. His art is about human nature, uses human figures, sometimes real, sometimes imaginary, sometimes clothed but nearly always exposed. It is about humour and pathos, sadness and exaltation, violence and indifference and there are touches of eroticism and irony. It is mainly a picture of the 20th Century. But it has many complex layers and allegoric and artistic references that make its immediate interpretation mysterious and often discomforting. Some people find his too intensely personal and his answer to that if it weren’t it would be just another decorative abstraction. Art is a very personal thing.

Graeme Welch was born in New Zealand in 1940, the son of a cartoonist and commercial illustrator. With a talent and imagination fueled by illustrations in ‘Saturday Evening Post’ and ‘Colliers’ magazines he seemed to be pre-destined toward a career in the arts. But it was not to be; suspending artistic ambition; he studied chemistry, eventually graduating with a PhD from the University of Toronto in 1968. Despite the inevitable demands of a career in research, as a teacher and as an educational administrator, he nevertheless completed a degree in Fine Art (with distinction) at Concordia University in 1985. Since then he has continued to exhibit drawings, painting and prints in community events in Montréal. After retiring from his position Dean of Pre-University Studies at Dawson College in 2005 that he has been able to devote his full-time attention to painting and drawing and in November 2008 held his first major solo exhibition, ‘Chasing the Savage Parade’, at the Warren G. Flowers Gallery in Montréal. The images in that exhibition re-traced the Arthur Rimbaud's voyage of the Le Bateau Ivre as a metaphorical journey through 1950's and 60’s. In 2019 Graeme participated in an exhibition at the exhibition Hidden Realms at the Percy Thomson Gallery in New Zealand. His most recent project is based on the 10 songs from Lou Reed’d 1982 Album Berlin.