Graham Ward continues to examine themes of stillness and reflection in his figural subject-matter. The condition of the individual is often disengaged from the viewer and, where animals are the chief subject matter in his work, he will often choose to have them engaged in a task which may or may not be immediately apparent. Concerned with their place within the scheme of the image, he frequently reworks themes within an existing visual vocabulary. Working in acrylics finished with egg tempera (the over-layering of which perhaps lends the image a sense of antique painting methods), he has frequently referenced the religious iconography of the Romanesque period, particularly those of the Spanish schools. The liminal subject-matter discovered in manuscripts and wall paintings (chiefly for Ward, the astonishing quality of paintings in the Pantheon of San Isidro in Leon, which seem as fresh to the contemporary onlooker as when they were fashioned in the 12th century). He is drawn to the spiritual in painting, and is engaged in the notion of pilgrimage and of ‘arrival’. Darkness in his work is intentional; it is invariably evening and moonlight in his work. He has repeatedly walked the ancient pilgrim roads to Santiago de Compostela in the North of Spain, and the routes to and history of, continue to be a major impetus in his paintings.
Photograph of artist by Jane Wildgoose courtesy and Copyright of the Wildgoose Memorial Library