Graham at work, using the print form
Lithography to create his stunning artwork
THE moving story of how a former customs and
excise interrogator from Lisburn became a renowned artist will
be told in a BBC1 Northern Ireland documentary on Monday night
'Graham Catney - made in Belfast' reveals how
this remarkable man who never held a paintbrush until seven
years ago went back to college and is now about to conquer the
art scene. Sadly, his tremendous talent only became apparent
following the tragic death of his wife.
Valerie Catney passed away 11 years ago
leaving a void in his life which he believed he would never be
able to fill.
However a suggestion by his brother to
attempt art as an outlet has resulted in Graham being able to
express his emotions.
His daughter Suzanne expressed her feelings
about her father becoming an artist: "I think it has been great
therapy for him, after mum died he needed something to give him
that added interest and it has given him great joy."
The documentary sees Graham return to
Southern Spain where he and his wife had hoped to spend their
Sadly Valerie passed away within a few years
of them moving there and Graham's dreams were shattered.
The programme follows Graham as he makes the
emotional journey to Nerja on the Costa del Sol - his first
visit since Valerie died.
He talks about being inspired by Spanish
artists such as Picasso and how he wishes to continue to develop
as an artist just as Picasso did in his latter years.
Indeed, Graham is already following in the
footsteps of artists like Picasso, Matisse, Toulouse Lautrec and
David Hockney as he has chosen to work in print or lithography;
a mesmerising art-form based on the fact that oil and water do
Using this method he has already gained the
respect of established artists, such as Neil Shawcross, who have
bought his work.
Following his time in college his graduation
show sold out in a matter of hours with work going to The Lyric
Theatre, The Belfast City and Mater Hospitals as well as to
local personalities including Wendy Austin who is a big fan.
Graham also won Diageo's 'Most Emerging Artist
2005' award and has exhibited at the Ulster Museum. Graham said
selling his paintings "gives him a buzz.
"It may sound arrogant or boastful and I
don't mean it in that sense but there is the satisfaction when
someone says: 'Graham I like your work, I'd like to buy it,' and
you feel your heart beating faster."
Philip McGovern, Producer and Director said:
"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."
The documentary by Big Mountain Productions will
begin at 10.35pm.