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New Belfast Artist to Feature in BBC One Documentary
07 Jun 2007 :
Graham Catney
A documentary entitled ‘Graham Catney: Made in Belfast’, to air on Monday 11th June at 10.35 pm on BBC One, tells the remarkable story of how art saved the life of a 69 year old ex-customs and excise interrogator's life.
Graham Catney is a 69-year-old ex-customs and excise interrogator who, up until seven years ago, had never held a paint brush. After returning to art college to pursue his passion, Graham has conquered the difficult medium of lithography and is emerging as a serious artist. A documentary entitled ‘Graham Catney: Made in Belfast’, to air on Monday 11th June at 10.35 pm on BBC One, tells the remarkable story of how art saved his life.

Following in the footsteps of Picasso, Matisse and Toulouse Lautrec, Graham works in lithography - an art-form based on the fact that oil and water do not mix. A drawing is etched on stone, and through and alchemy of greasy crayon, water and paint, a print is produced. Graham talks about his love for the medium and the surprise and delight when a print work of quality emerges.

For his final year at college, Graham chose a subject that had a profound impact on Belfast and on his own personal life, the story of the Titanic. Graham’s graduation show sold out within hours, with work going to The Lyric Theatre, The Belfast City and Mater Hospitals. He has already gained the respect of established artists here, such as Neil Shawcross, who have bought his work. He won the Diageo ‘Most Emerging Artist 2005’ award and exhibited at the Ulster Museum.

The documentary sees Graham return to Southern Spain where he and his wife had planned to retire. Sadly, Valerie died within a few years and Graham’s dreams were shattered. Production company Big Mountain followed as he made the emotional journey to Nerja, Spain - his first visit in 11 years since Valerie died.

Graham’s journey is captured in this uplifting personal documentary and present an extraordinary man who has looked to his passion for Art to help him triumph over personal loss and sadness, who has turned his life around and is about to embark on a most exciting and perilous new career path moving from unknown art student to recognised artist.

The documentary’s producer and director Philip McGovern was impressed by Graham’s character:
“Graham is one of the most inspiring characters I’ve ever met. His enthusiasm and zest for life is infectious. You come away from having met him and somehow things look brighter, the world is a better place. His belief in the idea that you should have an interest and passion in life is something we can all learn from."

‘Graham Catney: Made in Belfast’, Monday 11th June, 10.35 pm, BBC One Northern Ireland.

Big Mountain Productions

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