About“Greenhalgh’s icons and images hit the retina like fireworks, but they also describe a lonely, frightening world, in which horror nestles up alongside happiness.”
- Paul Greenhalgh, Director, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia.
Bill Greenhalgh has had, at various times in his career, some incredible peaks and troughs, achieving notoriety in the noughties as the artist whose commission in the Hillingdon Hospital was boarded up because it allegedly gave one of the consultants a migraine. He has been busy ever since and has amassed a large body of work, most of which has not been seen outside his studio. twototen offers an opportunity to take a glimpse into his vibrant and anarchic world.
Bill Greenhalgh is a painter based at Thames Side Studios. Greenhalgh was educated at Smithills Technical School in Bolton, the Bolton College of Art, the Bristol Polytechnic, the City University London and Goldsmiths University London.
Moving to east London in the mid-1970s Greenhalgh totally immersed himself in the east end culture and customs. Regarded as a man on a mission to drink every pub dry in Bow, he was in the vanguard of the movement into derelict warehouses for studio space and accommodation. An original pioneer of the open studio concept Greenhalgh was very politically active at this time, socialising with anarchists, Marxists, alcoholics and poets.
Alongside periods of self-financing artwork, Greenhalgh has had various types of paid employment including work as a hospital porter in the NHS (National Health Service), and as a radical trade union leader he fought long and hard to protect the NHS during the Thatcher era. A believer in the healing power of the arts Greenhalgh has worked with the disadvantaged in Community Centres and donated many pieces of work to the NHS. Between 2004-09 Greenhalgh was artist in residence at Whipps Cross Hospital with over 200 works on display at any one time.
Greenhalgh also worked as a Project Supervisor for The Community Service (London Probation Service). He independently developed an art workshop to work with offenders with mental health issues, substance and alcohol abuse; this ceased with privatisation. Greenhalgh has avoided all teaching jobs and anything else that required knowledge at an ‘0’ level standard.
Greenhalgh is painting full time and has given up drinking. Follow Bill on Instagram @billgreenhalgh123