Billy Ward

(b. 1982)


"It fascinates me how drug-like addictive a song, a film, a painting, a quote, a wine, a certain view, or a person can be; how we have this incredible urge to revisit something that we perceive as so sensually aesthetic that to not have a chance to experience it again can cause such displeasure"


BIOGRAPHY

I am an Englishman living in Copenhagen working as an artist and a sommelier.

Painting is something I have always done from a very early age. I remember at the age of 6 being in an art class and after slopping some kind of poster paint to some sugar paper my teacher said ‘If that was in oil paint it would be worth millions’!!! When my mum picked me up I insisted that I needed to get some oils so we went out that next weekend and she bought me some!

After studying Art all throughout my school years I furthered my practice and knowledge at the University of Plymouth where I completed a BA (hons) degree in Fine Art, specialising in painting (2002-2005). In 2006 I moved to London to work as an art technician at Europe's leading original prints gallery, The Alan Cristea Gallery, a stone's throw away from the Royal Academy of Arts in Mayfair. The gallery represented a vast array of masters' works including Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, John Hoyland and Sir Howard Hodgkin – just some of the many greats that would later have such a profound influence on my theoretic practice and painting style. It was there where I learnt the importance of curating in public and private spaces as well as the commercial side of the art world. It was an invaluable three years.

In 2009, aged 26, I left London lusting to travel the world. I moved to Hampshire on the south coast of England and picked up a waiting job at a beautiful coastal restaurant that housed an acclaimed Michelin starred chef. It was at Pebble Beach where my other passion for food and wine was catalysed, with wine becoming a central focus of interest. At the end of 2010 having saved enough money I set off for New Zealand where I spent two and a half years in two stints over the next four years; an 18 month period residing in Burgundy, France, in between – all in knowledge pursuit of wine and the cultures that surround it. Painting stayed with me throughout this time with seascape/landscape being a dominant subject matter. And during my spell in France and second trip to NZ I explored musical composition – something I would later infuse into my painting practice.

In 2015 I left the South Pacific and returned to England for a year before stumbling across the most endearing of wine bars in the most mystical of cities and in June of 2016 I moved to Copenhagen where I continue to reside and work. Copenhagen and especially Ved Stranden 10 wine bar have given me both the freedom and unremitting enthusiasm to explore my passion for wine and art. For that I will be forever grateful.


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