Opening his first exhibition at the age of 81, Anthony Wigram is a true testament to the fact it’s never too late to follow your creative dreams.
Having painted privately for more than 40 years, his Abstract Landscapes exhibition opens in a pop-up space at 23a Smith Street, Chelsea, London, SW3, tomorrow (16 May) and runs until 30 May. The show will allow him to share his enduring fascination and passion for abstract painting with a wider audience.
“I find the whole range of abstract art fascinating,” says Anthony. “It's a language of its own. Just like music but where colour and shape convey feeling and emotion. A lot of people think Abstract art is rubbish but to me it is be beautiful and can reach areas of the mind nothing else can.”
Anthony explains: “I have never wanted to have an exhibition before because I don't really want to sell my paintings; they are too much a part of me. I have accumulated work from many years in my studio and this exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to let it 'breathe'.”
Anthony Wigram, Yellow, Violet & Black with Blue, Red & Green Lines, oil on canvas, 71x90cm
Although Anthony has built a successful and ongoing career in property development and management, art has always been a huge part of his life.
“My earliest memory of painting is mucking about with poster paint at primary school and getting covered in it,” he adds. “At home, my mother loved painting and was an enthusiastic amateur painter and her passion for art also fostered my interest in it.”
And art is clearly a family affair. His son, Max Wigram, is a successful art dealer and curator, and it’s family life he can thank for bringing him back to his early passion.
“I started [painting] again with oils when we took the children on holiday, loved it, and went to day classes at Heatherley School of Art,” Anthony adds.
Anthony Wigram, Light & Dark Green with Circles of Blue, Red & Yellow, oil on canvas, 160x160cm
The artist is not only using this exhibition to share his painting. He will be donating 25 per cent of the proceeds raised from sales at the exhibition to a charity with a close personal connection to his family, the Piam Brown pediatric award refurbishment appeal at University Hospital Southampton.
“My grandson survived leukaemia at the University Hospital in Southhampton and, as a result, it is very special to my family.”
The Piam Brown ward is one of only 20 specialist paediatric cancer centres in the UK.