Gerard Stamp was born in Kent in 1955, although Norfolk soon became his home. He went to school under the shadow of Norwich Cathedral, where he developed a passion for drawing, and for architecture. As a schoolboy in the 1960’s, he would cycle into the Norfolk countryside to sketch and explore churches and landscape, with Pevsner’s Buildings of England in his saddle bag. On rainy days he might be found in the Norwich Castle Art Gallery, studying the architectural watercolours of John Sell Cotman, his lifelong artist hero.
After Art College, Gerard pursued a commercial career rising through several London advertising agencies to become creative director of one of the largest, Leo Burnett. In 2001, under his Chairmanship, the London agency became the most creatively awarded advertising office in the World*.
But throughout this period he was harbouring a determination to one day quit in order to paint full time. He finally realized his dream in early 2002, when he moved from London to join his wife and two children in North Norfolk, where he built a studio. However, the next few years were ones of creative anxiety: determined to avoid pastiche or cliché, and to find his own visual language through experimentation, dozens of paintings were deemed to be failures and destroyed.
Finally In 2005 he held his first solo show, at the Grapevine Gallery, Norwich, which became an instant sell-out. The next year he held his first London solo exhibition, in Cork Street, a show which travelled to York Minster. More one man shows followed, including ‘Mediæval’, a celebration of church architecture in East Anglia, and ‘Marshscape’, a series of large studies featuring the North Norfolk coast.
In March 2009 he held an exhibition at Bonhams, New Bond Street, London entitled ‘Twelve Churches’, a collaboration with The Churches Conservation Trust to celebrate their Fortieth Anniversary.
In 2010 Gerard Stamp’s life came full circle. Returning once more to Norwich Cathedral, he was asked to stage the inaugural exhibition celebrating the Royal opening of the ‘Hostry’, a new Exhibition and Visitor Centre designed by Sir Michael Hopkins and one of the largest Cathedral developments since the rebuilding of Coventry. It was opened by Her Majesty the Queen, and Gerard was delighted to be asked to present her with a painting to celebrate the occasion.
Since then he has held exhibitions in Norfolk, London, in Exeter and Ely Cathedrals, helping to cement his reputation as one of the country's finest contemporary watercolourists. His work is in public and corporate collections including Norwich Castle Art Gallery, East Contemporary Art UCS, and in many private collections across the world including those of Dame Judi Dench, the Duke of Bedford, and the Royal Collection.
This year he will continue to explore painting in oil.