After eleven years fronting indie band Delays, Greg Gilbert launched his first art exhibition at the Southampton’s Harbour Lights Picturehouse in March 2013. The exhibition, titled Requiem for a Village, consisted of miniature biro and pencil drawings inspired by family photos, knitting patterns and postcards from the 1970’s.“Before digital photography, you had to accept whatever you captured” says Greg, “so, in a way, the photos were more honest, especially those fleeting background details. With the biro drawings, I’ve focused on those lost fragments and background scenes and brought them centre stage”.

Since then, Greg has exhibited his work at the John Hansard Gallery as part of their Juneau Project show, had two pieces selected for Lymington’s prestigious St Barbe’s Open, where he won the Beaulieu Fine Art Award, and was selected for The 17th National Open Art Exhibition, where he won the award for Best in the South of England. As part of The National Open, his work was exhibited at The Royal College of Art and selected for The Works on Paper Fair at the London Science Museum. His drawing, ‘Tsar biro miniature’, was selected for the 2014 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

March 2015 will see a large solo exhibition at the prestigious Southampton City Art Gallery. Inspired by Stanley Spencer’s reimagining of Cookham Village, the show will be comprised of miniature biro work depicting a mythologised Southampton and draw from the gallery’s extensive archive for inspiration.

Prior to joining Delays, Greg attended Winchester School of Art with a view to becoming a conceptual designer for film. His passion for art, and in particular drawing, continued into life on the road and in the studio, using any down time to develop his biro work. “My first memory is of being eighteen months old and showing my Mum a picture of a bird I’d drawn. I’m not sure if I meant it to be a bird, or if I just scribbled and decided it looked like one. But drawing has been a constant in my life, a compulsion and something I’ve lost days to”.

After designing and drawing several of the bands record sleeves, Greg began presenting his work in its own space for the first time this year. “I’m just enjoying the process, allowing myself to pursue my instincts without over analysing why. The artists I admire most – Francis Bacon, Peter Doig, Richard Dadd -, all developed highly idiosyncratic methods and aesthetic themes. I think that’s the most valuable goal of all, to find what’s most unmistakeably “you”, no matter how different or obscure”.

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