Bio

 

Graham McBride was born in Cairns, Queensland, and grew up in and around the tropical and desert landscapes of rural northern Australia. As a teenager he became a metal tradesman, before studying Engineering-Science at University. However he always had a desire to pursue art, marrying his creativity with a longstanding interest in environmental issues. He saw art as a way for exploring his ideas and feelings about the state we live in, and the philosophical conflicts he and many of us live with. 

Moving to Europe in 1990 he found success in a company creating technology he and colleagues invented at university. After selling the business he began devoting time to painting. In 2004 he moved back to Australia, and continued to pursue both art and politics, running for parliament, building a sustainable home, and completing a Masters in Environments at the University of Melbourne. In 2012 he returned to the UK and now resides in London.

Over the course of his travels Graham has built up his art training through a series of selective part and short-term courses in Australia and the UK. His early painting focused on portraiture, however over the years his work has developed primarily into an individual more abstract expressionist style.

Nature and place seem to reoccur in his work, influenced not only by extensive travelling throughout his native country, but also through Europe, Asia and the United States. He has a particular interest in the concept of place and in the different ways it is created and conceived. His passion for sustainability of our natural environment, along with the clash between natural systems and the modern world, finds release in his work. His paintings are striking not only for their vivid colours and textures, but also the energy and vibrancy of their execution.

Graham is interested in the way man has shaped the environment and visa versa, and though his work does not often feature people, there is always a sense of the artist’s personal emotive world interacting with the natural one he encounters. His works have not only a strong aesthetic impact due to their scale and colour, their often balancing of conflicting or contesting gestures and motifs, but they also allow space for the viewer to interpret.

He particularly likes to explore balance in its many guises, whether it is between past and future, conscious and unconscious, what we see and what we imagine. In his more abstract work it is often only after the painting is finished that he consciously realises the experience of place he has been trying to capture.

He works in either acrylics or oils, while at times engaging with mixed media where it seems appropriate.

In Melbourne his paintings are currently hung at Thierry B Gallery in Prahran, but previously at Pivotal Gallery in Richmond.

 

Independent Review by Agora Gallery, New York 2013

Nature in all its geographic specificities is the governing motif of Graham McBride’s contemporary abstractions in acrylic, oil and mixed media on canvas. Drawn to the expressive nature of his medium, his works are vibrant, semi-abstract and multilayered permutations of one profound universal theme: balance. This preoccupation has its impact on the elegant, harmonious pieces but also reflects the artist’s interest in the state of interdependence and ‘equilibrium’ man can achieve in relation to the natural environment. Indeed, this concept is the chief element of McBride’s unique process, content and style. Influenced heavily by his travels throughout Europe, Asia and the United States as well as his early childhood memories of the craggy and dust-swept landscape he called home growing up in Australia, the beauty and chaos inherent in nature is a matter of McBride’s primary visual concern.