Blessed with a surname that might suggest what potential career beckoned for him, celebrated illustrative/fine artist, William GeldART indeed ended up employed in a creative field, pretty much from the get-go. Once completing the national curriculum at Hyde Grammar School, close to where he was born in Marple, Cheshire, national service came a calling, where Geldart assumed the post of photographer with an RAF fighter squadron based in Germany. On his return to civvy street Geldart wasted no time in enrolling at the Regional College of Art in Manchester, after which he entered the world of media by taking up an illustrative/design role in a Mancunian advertising agency. This more commercial of his creative chapters only proved to be a relatively fleeting one for Geldart however, as he jumped ship when taken on by posh glossy periodical, Cheshire Life sometime shortly after. Geldart worked his way up on this much-loved aspirational, regional title, eventually becoming Art Editor; a position he maintained for six years.
As the 1970s drew to a close, Geldart arrived at the decision to finally go it alone with his art so to speak, and in 1979 he announced himself as a professional fine artist/illustrator in his own right, free from any remaining commercial shackles. Which meant that Geldart could paint exactly what he pleased in a professional capacity for the first time. Working out of his home studio situated in Henbury, near Macclesfield in the heart of Cheshire, Geldart and his wife also ran the Geldart Gallery up until 2011. What’s more, since launching himself as a stand-alone artist Geldart’s witnessed a succession of commissions fly in, including those requested from such prestigious clients as The Sunday Times newspaper, Manchester’s famous Halle Orchestra and Manchester International Airport to name but three such examples.
Geldart is also a keen traveller, clocking up the air miles as he regularly jets off on fact-finding/art field trips abroad, one of which saw him spending a month in far-flung Hong Kong. Ordinarily however, Geldart’s signature illustrative themes and inspirations are sought out much closer to home, in his native North West of England; an expansive landscape which just keeps giving to many an artist. And of course, then there’s Geldart’s characters, both real and imaginary which make a pleasing habit of habitually turning up unannounced in many of his highly collectable pieces which have gone before. Such as Geldart’s versions of The Wind in the Willows and Dickens-influenced characters we’re all familiar with. From Mole, Ratty and Toad to The Artful Dodger, Bill Sykes and Fagin, Geldart has passed his unique and graphical revisited pictorial judgement on more besides.
But then there’s Geldart’s very own character creations, including the Chauvinistic Pig, Merlin and The Owl and the Pussycat, alongside of actual still life portraits and landscapes populated by real life pigs, badgers, otters, ducks, foxes and hedgehogs, all routinely jostling for our gaze. And that’s not overlooking Geldart’s exquisite illustratively-furnished views over a famous Manchester cityscape, as well as the lesser identifiable – yet equally as visually arresting – sights of nearby Macclesfield and Prestbury discovered to Manchester’s south not to mention the more exotic panoramas of Majorca and elsewhere sunny and warm of climate.
Over the intervening years since going solo, Geldart’s individual pieces, series and collections have appeared in a host of exhibitions, and showcased at an array of artistic venues across the North West and further afield, making their presence felt in some of the UK’s most prestigious galleries, whilst Geldart’s also been the subject of a BBC documentary focusing on his life and times as an artist. To this day Geldart dedicates most of his waking hours to capturing the compositional likeness of places, people and animals which he holds in awe and respect, and has built a loyal fanbase comprising not just of fine art lovers but seasoned collectors too.