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Painting by Walter Kershaw

Walter Kershaw, born 7th December 1940, Rochdale, is an artist in oils and watercolours but is best known for his large scale, external, mural paintings in England and Brazil. His work is in public collections worldwide; including the Victoria and Albert museum in London, the Arts Council, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the National Collection of Brazilian Art, FAAP in São Paulo.

Early Life

Kershaw is the only son of Florence Kershaw (nee Ward) 1916-2010, a retired school caterer; and the late Walter Kershaw 1917-1998 who was in the RAF from 1936 to 1946; at Duxford during the Battle of Britain, retiring as flight sergeant.

He has two younger sisters.

Kershaw attended De la Salle College in Pendleton from 1951 to 1958; later as a student at Kings College, Durham University (now part of Newcastle University) from 1958 to 1962, graduating with a BA Honours in Fine Art.

Personal Life

Kershaw has been twice married and divorced but now has a son and daughter with Gillian Halliwell.

Painting by Walter Kershaw

Early Career

Kershaw has always been self-employed and still runs his studio business today. [Please note that he is not on the internet, and will reply only to letters.] His early large external murals painted on slum properties alongside his provocative public sculptures attracted much media attention in the '60s, '70s and early '80s. For example interviews with Anna Ford for Granada TV; as a guest of Janet Street Porter on London Weekend TV; Sue McGregor's interview for 'Conversation Piece' on BBC Radio 4; and as a guest alongside Eric Morecambe on the late Russell Harty's BBC2 chat show.

George Best was a good friend to Walter and purchased six large drawings and oil paintings from him, whilst playing at United; and Bob Monkhouse was very kind to him, purchasing his paintings, corresponding and promoting his work on his Radio 2 show.

In the late 1960s, Walter Kershaw used to go out on painting trips around Lancashire and Yorkshire with Walter Hirsch and Eric Kean in Eric's van. Read more about these trips.

Ian Potts, now at the BBC and then a student at Regent Street Polytechnic made a film 'The first grafitti artist' about Walter's work. This won the best student film award at the Cannes Film Festival.