Rigby Graham is an immensely prolific and versatile painter, printmaker and designer, and has illustrated hundreds of books for private and commercial presses. He works firmly within the British landscape tradition, extending the neo-romantic themes of Graham Sutherland, John Minton and Keith Vaughan. His work not only broadens the scope of post-war neo-romanticism in the collection but also resonates with the etchings of Samuel Palmer, Sutherland, and Paul Drury. Rigby Graham's work also concerns itself with particular aspects of the landscape to convey a vision of its significance beyond the ordinary appearance. In his vision these particulars are to be found in the mundane details of street furniture, factory machinery, weeds and all aspects of the landscape normally kept on the periphery of vision. Neglect and dereliction, ruin and change are constant themes.
The 46 lithographs from Graham's Leicestershire published in 1980, seven prints and four drawings by Rigby Graham purchased in 1985 includes the first acquisition of artists' working drawings. As a printmaker he has worked in wood and lino cut, lithography, monoprint and to a lesser degree etching. The 20 large colour woodcuts, editioned by Goldmark Gallery in Rutland, demonstrate Graham's attachment to the Romantic aspects of other localities in England and Wales, as well as Malta, Germany, Italy and Greece. Prints such as Flughafen, Hannover (1986), Venice-The Birds (1987), Grand Canal, Venice (1987) and Homage to Cavafy (1987), bear witness to his technical versatility, bold use of colour, instinctive sense of design, the confidence of his draughtsmanship and his immense commitment and energy. This latter acquisition was made possible through the generosity of Goldmark Gallery. In the intervening years, Rigby Graham has generously presented to the School of Art many further examples illustrating his work as a printmaker over the past 40 years or so.