Geoff works creatively through a wide spectrum of media. He has been a full-time artist for nearly three decades . A relative latecomer, he believes his eye and understanding has not been constrained by more conventional approaches and has its own natural freedom.
He is a painter, sculptor, award-winning photographer, published author of fiction and non fiction with 10 books to his credit , a film-maker and poet.
All of Geoff’s art and projects share a strong ethical componen His love and respect for nature and all those with whom we share the world brings a particular emotion and depth to his art, whether with words or paint or through the lens which is why it has often found a place in the home of some celebrated artists and performers.
“At the core of any of my work is ‘inevitable chance’, the reconciliation of what is, is also what is meant to be”
Geoff has a personal drive and resilience and his passion, belief and his enthusiasm is evident in every project he undertakes. Since wrestling a BSc in psychology from Bedford College (London Univ.) in the late Sixties, Geoff’s creative urges have taken many forms of expression:
Starting with social work in Notting Hill, through environmental work with the nascent Friends of the Earth, musical entrepreneurship, establishing a chain of record shops in London’s West End and opening three shops in Baker Street, including a vegan restaurant.
The Eighties saw him campaigning on behalf of animals, the hungry and the environment. Towards the end of that decade he set up Animaline for Linda McCartney, Rita Tushingham and Carla Lane. He ran the organisation for nearly four years until, aged forty, he started to paint full time, still dealing with the subjects he cares about passionately, celebrating and questioning our relationship to animals and the planet. During this period Geoff was also able to find the time to set up and run the 20th anniversary of the Isle of Wight Festival.
Geoff Francis has been a full time artist for nearly three decades. The bold but irresistible step of becoming an artist at the age of 40 allowed him the confidence in the uniqueness of his own and interesting eye, giving him freedom from the constraints and limitations of more conventional avenues. This vision can be seen in his work with both canvas and camera.
Geoff brings a particular emotion and depth to his art, whether through the lens or with paint, which is why it has often found a place in the home of other celebrated artists and performers. Some have found resonances in his images with expressionist and impressionist artists such as Turner, Rothko, Freud, Chagall and Bacon. His work has a strong following.
At the core of Geoff’s art (and life) is his love and respect for nature and all those we share the world with. Geoff seeks to capture the moment of inevitable chance in the making of the work, and particularly what happens with light in that moment
He has been vegan for 46 years and is a long-time advocate for animals. He set up and ran the first paper recycling for the nascent Friends of the Earth in 1971, and Animaline for Linda McCartney, Carla Lane and Rita Tushingham in the 1980s. Geoff also has a long-term involvement with Hillside Animal Sanctuary and is a trustee of Journey’s End Animal Sanctuary in Florida. Other vegan enterprises include Fruits of the Earth frozen vegan foods, Pacific Isle Cruelty Free Soaps, Animus Badges, Animus Records and Rosalie’s Good Eats Cafe in Central London.
His passion for football began early, with Stanley Matthews a boyhood hero.
‘When I was seven years old, I was asked, “What are you going to be?” I replied, “I am going to be an artist or I am going to be Stanley Matthews”. In those days the slightest prowess with a ball earned the accolade, “Hey, Stanley Matthews!” The comparison made many a young boy feel proud.
‘Eventually, I have become recognised as an artist and this, in turn, has allowed me to fulfil the other part of my naive prediction. I have written a script which has allowed me to engage with, and give a voice to, the life of Stanley Matthews.’
from Stanley Matthews: The Black Man with a White Face (by Geoff Francis, published 2010)