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Knowing there is joy in everything, 1965

Harold Riley

English ( b.1934 )

Knowing there is joy in everything, 1965

  • Pastel on paper
  • Signed and dated lower right

Image size 11 inches x 11.6 inches ( 28cm x 29.5cm )
Frame size 18.9 inches x 19.3 inches ( 48cm x 49cm )

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Sold by Big Sky Fine Art; this original pastel drawing by Harold Riley dated 1965.
The work is presented and supplied in a sympathetic and contrasting contemporary frame to suit the subject colouration. Mounted and behind glass.

Harold Riley, British painter, photographer and printmaker, was born in Salford in 1934. His father was a jazz musician and his mother a schoolteacher. He was educated locally. Whilst he was only eleven and still at school his work was seen by L.S. Lowry, who persuaded the director of Salford City Art Gallery to buy his painting of a local mill. That Gallery now holds two hundred of his works.

At 17 he won a scholarship to the Slade School of Art – the youngest boy ever to have done so. He then did a postgraduate degree at London University.

In 1901 Lowry had begun to record Salford and Manchester in his paintings and in 1945 he engaged Riley to become involved in this work, which he did. In 1957 Greater Manchester Council commissioned Riley to work for three years recording the older areas of the county and its people in a variety of media, with a subsequent exhibition.

In 1952 Riley won First Prize in the British Universities’ Painting Competition organized by the Sunday Times. In 1959 Riley studied for a year in Italy and the following year won a Travelling Scholarship to Spain. He then returned to his home town of Salford, where he renewed his friendship with Lowry and where he has lived to date.

Riley has a great love of sport and this has been the subject of some of his most prized work. His passion for golf led to an exhibition at Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in St. Andrews “Following the Open “ in 2010. The University of Salford has a National Sporting Hall of Fame Archive and Riley for many years added a portrait of a different sportsman each year. The money raised from the annual dinner – attended of course by the painted sportsman, goes towards a Sports Bursary at the University. Past subjects have included Sebastian Coe (now Lord Coe), Sir Henry Cotton, Sir Matt Busby, George Best and Bobby Charlton.

In addition to capturing local scenes and sporting work Riley has also undertaken regular commissions, and in particular some very famous people, including Nelson Mandela, three Popes, the Presidents of the United States and three members of the British Royal Family.

In 2011, in a unique collaboration between an acclaimed artist and an NHS Foundation Trust, copies of 250 of Riley’s works were displayed in the corridors, wards and waiting areas of a new hospital, the Hope Building in Salford.

Riley’s work is today held in private and public collections all over the world. His sporting works are represented in the collections of the University of Salford, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sexton, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Jack Nicklaus, HRH Prince Philip and HRH The Prince of Wales.

This original pastel artwork captures a moment of spontaneous joy. It shows the head and shoulders of an elderly lady, perhaps someone’s grandmother. Her white hair is swept up in a bun at the back of her head and she is laughing out loud. This is an uplifting scene of charm and good humour, showing that true joy is not dependent on anything except the right attitude!