Acrylic by Fred Gray
Evening over Chelston Rooftops
Although born in Cheltenham, Fred grew up in Lancashire and the West Midlands, left school early and worked at various manual jobs. Determined to draw and paint, he eventually attended Art School in Bournville, and then Central School of Art in London. He was awarded a Hill bursary to Mantova and Venice before graduating in 1969.
After college he continued to paint but worked at a series of manual then teaching jobs for a year, then taught at Art Schools in Hereford, Bournville, and Aston University. In 1979 he worked briefly at B.B.C. Pebble Mill and went on to pursue a freelance career as a pastiche ,matte and scenic artist working in television, commercials, and films.
Film work has ranged from hundreds of large scale landscape and cityscape backdrops to Art House film projects which include “Landgirls”,”Hilary and Jackie”, being the hands of Gertler in the film ”Carrington,” large sets of watercolours for “Ladies in Lavender”, and a huge collection of over one hundred and twenty backdrops of townscapes, landscapes and skies for Aardman Animations films “Wallace and Gromit, the curse of the Wererabbit”,and then “A Matter of Loaf and Death”. He has also taught visualisations to post graduate design students at the National Film and Television school.
Despite busy schedules in his commercial work, Fred always continued to paint and exhibited in one and two man shows in the West Country plus had a one man show in Upper Street Gallery, London. He also showed at Bradford Print Biennale; in the Singer Friedlander Sunday Times Watercolour competition; RWEA; RBSA ; and Ikon galleries ; plus galleries in Wells and Bristol. More recently he also had two shows of work based on travels in India at Artique in Tetbury and Bodelair House in Hurst. Since moving to South Devon his local landscapes have been shown in galleries around the area including Brownston; Davidson: and Artizan galleries. His work is now held in collections in America, England and Germany and Israel.
Fred Gray discovered something about his local area on his early morning walks whilst shielding during the pandemic, becoming acquainted with lanes, steps, buildings and streets; absorbing the character, names, nuances and patterns. His project ‘Chelston in lockdown - a sleeping beauty’ is an invitation to local people to look at their neighbourhood with fresh eyes and to share their experiences and discoveries with Fred about the place just beyond their own doorsteps
Acrylic on Canvas Board
Framed in an Off White Frame