Graham Clarke
Artist statement

At the 2010 Gallery Plus Print Show Graham Clarke launched 'The Quay', a limited-edition hand-coloured etching. We are privileged and thrilled that this stunning piece has been produced in association with us ...

“All my life I have been attracted to little harbours, quaysides, fishing boats and the whole business of enjoying the seaside. The North Norfolk coast fulfils this admirably, especially Wells-next-the-sea. Trevor and Joanna, in their fine gallery, became friends as soon as we met in my Kentish Studio. It has now been proved that their combined talents are a recipe for success. Having visited Wells several times over the years I was pleased to consider it as a subject for one of my more topographic etchings. The result is ‘The Quay’, produced entirely by hand using methods several hundred years old in a strictly limited edition of 300 plus 30 Artist’s Proofs. Although it will have worldwide publicity and distribution, this is its first exposure and it will remain exclusive, initially, to Gallery Plus.”  

For 2019, and again in association with Gallery Plus, Graham has produced a brand new topical etching of the North Norfolk Coast ‘Coast with the Most’.

“How proud we British are of our maritime history and quite right too. If you happen to live in a county with a coastline, don’t take it for granted. Take good care of your coast as you are extra fortunate and if you love fish and like boats, even more so. So do I. Cheers.

Graham Clarke, artist, author and humorist, is one of Britain's most popular and best-selling printmakers. He has created some five hundred images of rural life and history, and of his own humorous view of the world. Born in 1941, Clarke's upbringing in the austerity of war-time and post-war Britain, made him reliant on his own imaginative resources.  Responding to the comedy of everyday life, he brings his own unique brand of humour to his interpretation of past and present history through the eyes of the common man.

He was educated at Beckenham Art School, where he fell under the spell of Samuel Palmer's romantic and visionary view of the Shoreham countryside. At the Royal College of Art he specialised in illustration and printmaking, and pursued his interest in calligraphy. With encouragement from Edward Bawden, Graham began refining an individual aesthetic, printing traditional landscapes marked by a sense of locality and genre. Graduating in 1964, he benefited from the print boom of the decade and, with commissions from Editions Alecto and London Transport Publicity Department a promising career was launched.  The publication in 1969 of his first hand-printed "livre d'artiste", Balyn and Balan won recognition from the most influential patron and connoisseur of the day,
Kenneth Clark.  Lord Clark also wrote enthusiastically
in praise of Vision of Wat Tyler: "the whole book is a splendid assertion that craftsmen still exist and cannot be killed by materialism.  A few idealists are the only hope for decent values".

He has attracted universal admiration for his revival of beautiful, hand-coloured prints in the tradition of Thomas Rowlandson.  The famous ‘arched top’ etchings, with which Graham Clarke established a widely successful reputation in Britain and overseas, came to public attention in 1973 when the first of these, Dance by the Light of the Moon, was exhibited in London at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Show, and sold out.

Examples of his work are held by public and Royal collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum, the Tate Gallery and the National Library of Scotland in the United Kingdom, as well as by Trinity College, Dublin, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the New York Public Library and the Hiroshima Peace Museum.  

His books, Graham Clarke's ‘History of England’,  Graham Clarke's ‘Grand Tour’ and ‘Joe Carpenter & Son, An English Nativity’, were published by Phaidon Press. The latter, a verse play, now having been performed many hundreds of times in churches and schools worldwide. Spring 2000 saw the publication of 'Bait Box Stew', sketches and notes from his beloved
Cornwall, and 'KENT', a collection of watercolours on his home territory. His book ‘Vinerelles’, is not just about wine but actually uses it in the artwork.

In August 1993 Graham was made a Chevalier de la Confrerie du Ceps Ardechois in his favourite part of Southern France. In 1999 he became an official ambassador for the County of Kent, a role which he pursues with much enthusiasm. More recently he was pleased to be asked to become President of the C.P.R.E. (Kent). Since 1985 his work has been shown
regularly to Japan, during which time he visited the country more than twenty times and it has been said he became their most popular British artist.  In October 1994 The Graham Clarke Studio and Salon opened in central Osaka, a gallery, meeting place and permanent collection, devoted to Clarke works and 'philosophy'. At the same time Kodansha Kodansha, Japan’s largest book publisher, issued The World of Graham Clarke”, an introduction and explanation of eighty Clarke etchings in Japanese. A following work ‘Graham Clarke’s Recent Works’ appeared in 2004.

Graham Clarke’s Millennium window is to be seen in his own parish church of Boughton Monchelsea, Kent. It is unique in that it involves light and sound as well as the stained glass itself.  During the year 2000 he produced a large composite wood carving ‘The Gloucester Nativity’. Gloucester Cathedral was its home but it is designed to travel and formed the
centrepiece at Clarke’s retrospective exhibition held at The Royal Museum and Art Gallery, Canterbury in 2001. It currently resides in his parish church at Boughton Monchelsea.

His large etching ‘All the World in London’ was produced at the suggestion of the Olympic bid committee. Graham likes to think it made a contribution towards the successful outcome. A copy hangs in the Olympic Museum in Geneva.

Graham Clarke is a man with an overriding sense of tradition and of social and historical continuities.  Although internationally recognised, he takes pride in his view of himself as a local man, a "Man of Kent", with a firm faith in the peace and stability of family, home and community.  As such, life and art have always been interdependent, mutually sustaining activities. With the extraordinary rapid technical developments in fine art reproduction used by so many others, he feels ever more convinced that works produced entirely by hand using traditional processes have a splendid and secure future. His wife Wendy, his four children, his animals and friends, the cottage industry he maintains in the village of Boughton Monchelsea where he lives, his comedy band, and the
surrounding landscape, offer a microcosm of the world and its history.  The scenes he depicts represent both for him and for his ever-widening audience, an idyll and a universal ideal.

Coast with the Most
Hand Coloured Etching
produced in association with Gallery Plus
Image Size 30 x 25cm
£315 mounted
The Quay (Wells-next-the-sea, Norfolk)
Hand Coloured Etching
produced in association with Gallery Plus
Image Size 30 x 25cm
£315 mounted
Red Flags
Hand Coloured Etching
Image Size 13 x 10cm | Mounted Size 25.5cm x 23m
£94 mounted
Four Michelin Tyres
Hand Coloured Etching
Image Size 13 x 10cm | Mounted Size 25.5cm x 23m
£94 mounted
Dogsbody Eleven
Hand Coloured Etching
Image Size 18cm x 21cm | Mounted Size 32cm x 36cm
£145 mounted
Chianti Danti
Hand Coloured Etching
Image Size 27 x 35cm . Framed Size 43 x 58cm
£631 framed
We stock a fantastic range Graham’s humorous and fascinating etchings, books, and cards - all year round.

To see more of Graham’s work, pop into the gallery or get in touch and we will be happy to supply you with images and details of all the current work.

If you would like to purchase any of Graham’s work, we offer a mail order service and can accept payment by all major debit and credit cards over the telephone, or via Paypal.

Click here to email us 
Or give us a call on 01328 711609
C’mon Missus
Hand Coloured Etching
Image Size 25 x 15cm
£205 mounted
Gift Vouchers and Mail Order available - please email, phone, or pop into the gallery.
 Gallery Plus, Warham Road, Wells-next-the-sea, Norfolk, NR23 1QA.
On the A149 Coast Road at the junction to Warham, Wighton and Walsingham .
01328 711609 / 07795 680674
All content © 2020 Gallery Plus. All artwork © to the originating artist.
Trevor Woods and Joanna Woods Trading as Gallery Plus
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