Friday was dress down day
By Richard Coward

1990 to 2000
Subject Matter
Reg. Number
59 x 74 cm

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Thank you to Siobhán Coward for very generously gifting this artwork to the Art in Healthcare Collection.

Richard Coward (1946 - 2014) started out as a fashion photographer working in black and white, but by the time of his death at 68 he had added printmaking, abstract painting, etching and film-making to his skills.

Richard left school in Cheam at 16 and started working at an advertising agency in Soho as a runner. Shortly afterwards he moved to a photographic studio.
Living and working in central London in the 1960s, Richard had fun but also worked hard at his photography. He specialized in black-and-white portrait photography and was largely self-taught, although he did take a degree at the Polytechnic of Central London (now University of Westminster) in the late 80s.

In the early 70s, to supplement his freelance work, Richard turned to teaching part-time, first at Bournemouth School of Art, then Portsmouth College of Art, and, for many years, at the Cass School of Art in Whitechapel, east London. During that time he became involved with many London galleries, including the Box Gallery near Leicester Square.

By the end of the 70s Richard had acquired his first studio in Wapping, east London. Among those he photographed there were Simple Minds and the Sham 69 front man Jimmy Pursey.

Richard moved to Norwich in the early ‘90s. There he started abstract silkscreen printmaking, applying colour with vim and vigour, and had several exhibitions of his work including overseas. In 2008 Richard retired to Edinburgh where he lived until his untimely death in 2014.

A selection of Richard's photographic work is in both the Collections of the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Scottish Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. Churchill College, Cambridge and Edinburgh University have a selection of his silkscreen work in their collections. []

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