Luke Hannam’s work is derived from spontaneous drawing, his trademark line is used to forensically explore multiple ideas in search of something that works. His attitude to painting is confrontational and not remotely passive, his close friend and fellow painter Matthew Burrows recently described him as ‘a fantastic draughtsman who approaches his work with a ferocious roar’.
Hannam has been painting since the early 1980s and has work in many collections around the world, yet his work is still relatively underground but there is a strong indication this will not be the case for long.
Hannam combines painting with music-making and has a strong reputation as a music artist in his own right and as the bass player and chief songwriter in Gramme, an important post-punk ensemble with legacy of influence. Hannam’s music-making like his painting is uncompromising and steeped in a British tradition of being uncomfortable and not easily defined – you could say eccentric and deliberately awkward!
Hannam’s recent work is as diverse as ever with multiple activities taking place on numerous fronts. His studio in Rye is stacked to the rafters with large-scale oil canvases thickly painted reflecting his current obsession with apocalyptic visions generated from poems by Wordsworth and Blake.
Hannam also works from a studio in Norfolk where he experimented with electronic music, drone technology and painting under the name Manos. His roots are in English still life painting which strangely amongst the noise and clatter of his work is still visible, he is very much the painter's painter with an eye for colour of every variety.
His recent collection of portraits is the result of an impromptu collaboration between Mccully & Crane's very own Marcus Crane who provided an assortment of found surfaces and discarded canvases. Experimentation is at the heart of the Hannam vision yet throughout his work you can see a strange mastery of classical values, a present sense of drama, sexual ambiguity and a lust for life.