Graham Fisher Welstead is a painter and currently a full-time teacher of art. He also lectures and writes on painting, art and various other polemical and often controversial topics.
He was born and grew up in S.E. Kent. But since the student days of his late teenage has, apart from a short spell following his post-graduate education, lived continuously in the London area. Partly as a result of his training as a painter, (first at Chelsea School of Art and then as a post-graduate student at the Royal Academy Schools) and partly as a result of his own creative experience and awareness of the work of others, he has formed fluid but rigorous and perceptive views on the activity of painting and also on wider aspects of art and life in general.
He has exhibited in London and South-East England and continues to paint and draw while currently also teaching art and design. His main artistic concern continues to be the importance of observation from nature and its relationship with pictorial form and the correct understanding of the development of visual communication within the European tradition and beyond.
In recent years he has formed his views, insights and ideas into controversial and provocative essays, talks and lectures, which have been very well received. His subject-matter is wide-ranging but often focuses on the important role the media plays in informing us or, whether intentionally or not, misinforming us on serious matters about which we need to know the truth. Graham takes no sides in this. He is not a conspiracy theorist, but he is only too ready to expose a conspiracy where one may exist and he is more than ready to point out errors of fact and logic perpetrated by those who seek to influence us.
For example, about ten years ago a TV documentary was broadcast, narrated, incidentally, by the established BBC host Gavin Esler, which claimed to 'prove', by the use of allegedly meticulously researched and simulated CGI, that JFK was shot by one assassin from one position. A 'single bullet fact', as the chief researcher and CGI expert claimed. Graham showed this film to his pupils and then questioned them, asking how many of them agreed with the conclusion. All of them felt the point had been proved. Thus we can imagine that when the show went out, millions of viewers, flopped on their sofas, would have been similarly convinced. CGI had 'proved' it... Except that when you run the film again and consider the points carefully (something for which most people do not have the time), it becomes obvious they are entirely misguided and that the 'investigation and analysis' is not only completely inadequate but demonstrably wrong; viewers being seduced and tricked by special effects. By using factual inaccuracy and attractive technology the producer creates an expectation in the mind of the viewer which then becomes all too easy to satisfy. There are many other members of the 'Media Establishment' who are intent on fooling us.
Graham treats his writing and lecturing as an extension of his approach to painting and drawing: another expression of the importance of establishing truth and clarity and offering the opportunity of enlightenment at a time when the opportunity for fraud and misrepresentation has never been greater.