The Artist

I was born in Salford and grew up there. The first paintings I saw were by L.S. Lowry at the local Art gallery and his work has always been an inspiration to me. Another formative influence was Arthur Berry who I was fortunate to have as a teacher at North Staffs Polytechnic, Stoke-on-Trent.

For me, the need to paint comes from wanting to make images suggested by the poetry and flux of everyday life, an impulse which goes back to childhood and being alone and trying to make sense of it all. As I've lived much of my life next to a city, not surprisingly people and places are the main inspiration for my work where I can explore patterns and sweeps of everchanging figures arranged on a white background. Painting for me brings a kind of consolation because I feel that it is only with people and the space around them that something resembling a world comes into being.

The stage has also been an influence, going back to a period I spent working in London theatres shortly after leaving Art School. Sometimes I use painting as a way of creating a simple stage set where different characters are assembled and where the picture represents a space between the present and a world of infinite possibility.

Robert HardyIn his words ...

Themes and subject matter in my work have often come from travel and places visited. More recently, London, its landmarks, people and crowds, has become my main focus where clusters of figures represent a common humanity.

To begin a painting is like starting out on a voyage of discovery. The further one goes, the more one finds to bring back. I want my paintings to convey a sense of hope and promise and to celebrate the richness and affirmation of life through individual figures relating to a community or group.

I like to work on canvas or board in oils and I may work on a painting over a long period before it feels right. Pictures are built up methodically and the composition is usually completed on a carefully prepared white surface.

Biographical Information

  • 1952      Born Salford, England
  • 1971-74 North Staffs Polytechnic, BA Hons Fine Art
  • 1974-75 Chelsea School of Art, MA Painting
  • 1975-76 London University Institute of Education

Lives and works in London.