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About the Artist Bill Bate

With a veritable body of work to his name, successful contemporary figurative artist, Bill Bate is, it’s fair to say, fascinated by the natural human form and function. Bate is perpetually moved and artistically inspired by the body at rest, in transit or just purely observed, and the illustratively dramatic role which light and reflection – both manufactured and environmentally-occurring – play in his deeply atmospheric signature pieces; characterising emotional responses to varying degrees. In Bate’s own words; “I want the paint to have a life of its own and so leave its application quite loose at times. “ Adding; “I endeavour to escape the confines that realism can impose, leaving more expression and less constraint”.

Son of Liverpool, Bate, was born on Merseyside in 1962, and displayed a penchant – backed up by a precocious talent – for art from an early age according to those around him, with painting being his forte.

Works By Bill Bate

  • Zephyros by Bill Bate
    Zephyros
  • Sirocco by Bill Bate
    Sirocco
  • Levanto by Bill Bate
    Levanto
  • Lady Of The Reef by Bill Bate
    Lady Of The Reef
  • Deep Blue by Bill Bate
    Deep Blue
  • Cool Blue by Bill Bate
    Cool Blue
  • Underwater Dance by Bill Bate
    Underwater Dance
  • Breaking Through by Bill Bate
    Breaking Through
  • Towards The Light by Bill Bate
    Towards The Light
  • Into The Blue by Bill Bate
    Into The Blue
  • Follow Me by Bill Bate
    Follow Me
  • Freedom by Bill Bate
    Freedom
  • Serene Reflections by Bill Bate
    Serene Reflections
  • Crystal Water by Bill Bate
    Crystal Water

From Quarry Bank secondary school Bate went on to gain a place on the art foundation course at (the then) Liverpool Polytechnic, before progressing to study for a Fine Arts Degree. This meant relocation to Bate, as it does for many students, and his pursuit of higher educational sustenance led him to London, and its famous Central School of Art and Design. Or Central St Martins as it later became known, and a renowned creative establishment which has seen many a famous artist pass through its doors over the years.

Bate graduated in 1984 and looks back at this period as being key to his introduction to the more abstract approach and element which has become a mainstay of his now instantly recognised works. Central St Martins also provided the platform for Bate to develop his figurative attributes and skill-set which again forms the creative nucleus of his back catalogue of individual studies and considered collections. Whilst there Bate was afforded all the encouragement he needed to experiment and push his own boundaries of his personal art, and strive to take it beyond his own comfort zone.

Bate recalls the lecturers and tutors were pivotal, being as they largely were established artists in their own rights benefiting from lifetime’s worth of opinion and priceless knowledge. Making London his home, on completion of his Degree Bate threw himself into his new-found art confidence and strove to develop and evolve his unique style as a practising contemporary artist. With it came success, with initial showcasing of his work in various London galleries being emulated countrywide as more recently the rest of the UK has borne witness to what Bate and more pertinently, what Bate’s work is all about.

Returning to the very nature of Bate’s work and almost mysterious appeal and quasi-spirituality which he pictorially furnishes his figurative compositions with, and it emerges that the artist is influenced by some of the art world’s good and great, when it comes to the conveyance of the strength and beauty of the human form. Reading like a who’s who of iconic exponents of art – albeit from differing backgrounds and genres – such as Caravaggio, Klimt, J W Waterhouse, Alma Tadema, Bacon and Rothko, the later specifically mentioned in relation to his awareness and implication of mood and ambience.

Today Bate lives and works south of the city, and can more often than not be found holed up in his Wimbledon studio space. This converted warehouse is also home to in excess of 100 other creative souls, which has really fostered a sense of community and belonging; not least because there’s always like-minded people to bounce ideas and concepts off which is always a positive aspect for any creative. In terms of Bate’s personal approach to his every piece, the hugely popular artist confesses to having a certain overall image in mind from the outset of his journey. However after committing the first sketched lines to the canvas this can regularly then take and follow a different tract altogether.

Bate’s reference points in regard to his omnipresent figures arrive courtesy of models, his own furtive imagination and what he refers to as the life and events that exist around him on a daily basis. Typically Bate chooses to work systematically from dark to light, commencing with dark browns or steely blue washes as a starting point, and construct the colourations from there whilst the paint’s still wet and manipulative. Once Bate’s happy with the background hues and saturations he’ll step away from the canvas for a few hours to enable it to dry, and instead will focus his attentions on another piece, often having 2 or 3 works of art on the go simultaneously. Bate fervently believes in conjuring a tight realism in areas of his canvases, whilst leaving other areas looser and less defined to instigate a more expressive and expansive picture. In Bate’s own words he adds; “The underwater series give me a freedom from gravity that enables a freedom of the body”.

Latest Artworks

Framed Size: 1200 x 700 mm


Framed Size: 700 x 700 mm


Framed Size: 20 x 28 inches