I was born in Oldham Lancashire in 1949 and attended Derker Secondary Modern School which was quite close to where I lived.
Looking back it was a rough time and didn't really inspire me with an interest in learning or any future that was on offer there. Fortunately I was able to leave at the age of 13yrs after qualifying for Oldham Art School where I studied for five years.

View from first house. 1970

I worked for a Litho Printers in Oldham for a while before attending Ashton Polytechnic doing Pre-Diploma studies in Art after which I moved to Sunderland to do Diploma studies at the Art College there.
After qualifying; (Diploma in Art & Design, as it was then), I did screen printing for a few years before moving to Mossley, a region close to my original roots in Oldham. In my mind the move was a temporary one before taking on the world. I had a wife and two children by that time.

I was still screen printing for a while but then after a period of unemployment I became self employed as an artist painting in water colour and oils. Eventually we had another child and we’re still in Mossley thirty eight years later.

Though I can’t say I have chased fame and fortune, nor had the desire to have letters after my name, I have had several exhibitions.

Still self employed I paint daily, building up work for future exhibitions and doing the occasional commission. I sell photographs through online picture libraries and print photo greeting cards for local shops. Though I hope to carry on painting landscapes I also have different intensions for future work. This is a more risky pastime in financial terms, but one which I was distracted from since I was a teenager. Seeing images of war and starving people on a black and white TV in the sixties awoke in me the realization that the world offered both heaven and hell and showed me that good fortune shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Early Abstract 1969

Politics have always seemed to me like a collection of insane actors telling lies. Though I have ignored the subject for most of my life I have realized over the past few years that much of the insanity in the world is caused by the greed and corruption that goes on in political circles under the guise of helping the common people.
Corporate power wielding the weapon of ‘money’ makes puppets out of both individuals and whole countries. Secrets are kept from the world population and dangerous changes are made without general consent. Cancer cures are known but actively suppressed by the pharmaceutical industry. The wise are ignored due to lies and propaganda from the main media.

In reality the suffering I remembered from the sixties has not changed and negatively influenced governments are still doing what they do best, serving secret agendas and producing the by-product that we all know so well, ‘suffering and death’.

I now find this harder to ignore due to the blatant arrogance and greed which accompanies it. You could say my Artistic conscience has been well and truly pricked.

With this in mind I intend to use some of my time to make social comments that reflect these times in which we live and to support the growing number of others with the same intensions in both Art and other fields.


Steve Bentley.

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