‘Painting, for me, inspires and illuminates life...’


     After “A” levels at Oxford High School G.P.S.T., I studied painting at Hereford School of Art followed

by Central St.Martin’s, London, where I was much inspired by my tutor, Sir Anthony Caro.

     Subsequently, I won a Scholarship to study art in Rome and Florence for one year.

     On my return to the UK, I continued painting but also acquired considerable experience in the media. Photography had played a minor part in my work: I now made news, documentary, drama-documentary (based on  coal-mines, the iron, steel and cotton industries) and arts films for television.

I also became, for some years, the Northern Arts Correspondent for the Guardian - a great brief which included Scotland and Ireland.

     I have lectured in art at all levels and acted as Governor of Sheffield College of Art and of Camberwell College of Art, London. I was also a founding tutor for the Open College of the Arts.


     I started painting full-time.    

    My work evolves from day to day to reflect my life and has developed through strikingly different phases. I began with landscape in Hereford. I’ve still a startling memory of painting a thunderstorm in a farm-yard - the fluorescent effect of lightening on mud and water.

     In London and Manchester, I concentrated on more abstract concepts with their political and social associations.

     Ringstead, with its wild and natural location on the jurassic coast, impelled me back to study landscape with all its elemental force. I now seek a constant interaction between the figurative and the abstract. But the root impulse is emotional and expressive.”

M E R E T E   B A T E S

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