Artist Andy Farr graduated with a MA in Painting in 2017 and is now exhibiting his work. His story from childhood art enthusiast to professional painter is an emotional and incredible one. Here’s the story of how a serious illness became a positive, life-changing moment.
Art was always a passion for Andy while growing up, but then school discouraged him from doing ‘A’ Level and his path went in a different direction, all the way to a desk in London. Andy was seriously ill in hospital and six months into his recovery he handed his notice in, unsure as to how things would pan out. Soon after, he met a wonderful artist called Caroline Hulse who ran a painting course he attended. Caroline must had seen something in his early daubs as she began to mentor him over the first summer of his second life and encouraged him to be more experimental and bold.
The trigger to become a full-time artist was the WW1 Centenary in 2014. At that time, Andy’s two sons, both talented artists themselves, were 16 and 18 respectively, and would have been marching off to Flanders to face the mud, shrapnel and machine guns 100 years earlier. Andy wanted to do something to make the Centenary relevant to the current generation of young people and managed to secure Arts Council Funding for a project working with Schools called “Lost Generation”. This convinced Andy that he really could be a serious artist.
Ahead of his return to the University to present his most recent exhibition, “The Twisted Rose and Other Lives”, Andy said, “I’m very excited to be back at the University for a solo show. My first exhibitions were all group shows linked to my MA. The Lanchester Research Gallery is a superb exhibition space and I’m looking forward to seeing what the responses to the work are.”