Halfboy
Stuart Pearson Wright

2 November 2018 – 6 February 2019

Even as The Children Act 1975 gave adopted children the right to their birth records upon maturity, the National Health Service was providing assisted conception services using anonymous donor sperm. Conceived in a South London NHS facility in 1975, artist Stuart Pearson Wright will never have access to his paternal heritage, a loss that has evolved from childhood confusion to the remorse of a father of two young children.

Halfboy came about as a result of a chance encounter with a box of childhood photographs, a rare find as most such mementos were lost due to the peripatetic lifestyle imposed by the artist’s mother in the 1980s.

Reconstructed from photographs and personal memories, Stuart Pearson Wright has imbued the paintings that make up Halfboy with his portraitist’s eye for detail, bringing to life the minutiae of time and place. Humour and pathos jostle for attention in this autobiographical series, which will be supplemented by works made in the aftermath of a personal tragedy that unfolded upon his move to Suffolk.

About Stuart Pearson Wright

Stuart Pearson Wright (b. 1975) trained at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, during which time be won the BP Portrait Awards Travel Award (1998) awarded by the National Portrait Gallery (NPG). The subsequent exhibition at the NPG opened to rave reviews and Wright was heralded ‘a Hogarth for our Times’ by Godfrey Barker of the Evening Standard.

In 2000, a chance encounter with the actor John Hurt in Old Compton Street led to a small portrait on oak, which was subsequently bought by the NPG along with a portrait of the Ballet dancer Adam Cooper. Earlier in the year, he won the BP Portrait Award for Gallus gallus with Still Life and Presidents and was awarded a commission to paint J. K. Rowling for the collection of NPG.

In 2006, Wright’s exhibition Most people are other people, a collection of forty portrait drawings of British and Irish actors was exhibited at the NPG and National Theatre, London.

Wright has also curated Being Present, a group exhibition of eight contemporary painters, at the Jerwood Space and a drawing exhibition, Kungskog, including works by Gillian Wearing, Michael Landy, Paul Noble, etc., at a project space in Vyner Street, London.

Recent exhibitions of Wright’s work were held at Riflemaker, London, in 2010, 2012 and 2013 and his works are in public collections including The British Museum, Government Art Collection, Ashmolean Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum and many others.