Christopher was born in London in 1961, and grew up on a diet of cult TV classics such as: The Prisoner, Dr Who, Randall and Hopkirk Deceased, and The Avengers, and from a young age he would often sit in front of the box, drawing his favorite TV heroes. He left school at seventeen and started working in a commercial art studio. Whilst there he worked on many “Top Ten” album and single cover artworks for the following bands:
The Police, Squeeze, Robert Fripp, Sham 69, The Jam, The Cure, and Roxy Music.
With a passion forged in the inferno of 1970s popular television and armed with his portfolio of paintings, set designs, models, and short films, he set out to find work in the industry. Having experienced life on the sets of: The Sweeney, Space 1999, Blake’s Seven, The New Avengers, and the James Bond movie: The Spy Who Loved Me, he finally landed a job at Shepperton Studios as a Special Effects Designer / Model Maker.
He worked on a string of award-winning animated TV commercials including: Quavers, Prize Guy Yoghurts, KP Nuts, and the famous PG Tips Chimpanzee adverts (live action.) He also worked on the highly successful children’s television series: Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, where he built many of the characters, stations, and landscapes. His film work has included the designing and building of a massive aerial model of a small American town for the feature film: Amazing Grace and Chuck, directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter) and starring Gregory Peck. He then went on to co-write, design, and produce: Potamus Park for Carlton Television (at Pinewood Studios.) During this time he also illustrated books and comics for many well known TV characters such as: Postman Pat, Rosie and Jim, Potamus Park and Tots TV.
Having achieved his childhood ambition of working in Television and film, he felt more and more compelled to return to his love of painting where he could express himself away from the time and budget constraints of his TV work. He now paints full time from his studio in Putney.
Christopher spent twenty-five years working in the film and television industry and this has quite naturally influenced his work. As part of the picture making process, he photographs small cardboard models (complete with toy cars and people) to establish the scenes he has in mind. This process seems to imbue his pictures with a cinematic feel.
In a similar way to how a TV series is filmed, Christopher will create a story line, setting, and cast of characters, which he will use for the basis of a series of paintings. The finished work often looks like a sequence from a soap opera or kitchen sink drama! With regard to his visual style, he draws inspiration from the commercial art of the 1960s, especially cigarette cards and Ladybird books.
Courtesy of the artist’s website.