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Monday 27 September 2021
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Harold Riley artworks

Harold Riley gifts new artworks to Salford Royal

Acclaimed artist Harold Riley has provided further pieces of his art to Salford Royal – this time sketches of staff he made whilst an in-patient.


The Trust and Mr Riley have a long standing connection and in 2011, Mr Riley gave 250 original pieces of art to Salford Royal; copies of which are exhibited across the corridors, wards and waiting areas in Hope Building, which was newly opened at the time.


In June, the Trust was delighted to house a further collection of his work – eight portraits he made of staff members during his time as an in-patient in the winter and two other landscape pieces inspired by his views from the windows on the ward. These are hung in the atrium area of Hope Building along with a plaque explaining more about the pieces.

Mr Riley said: “"Hanging my work in our fine hospital is a privilege that I greatly respect."


Ward Manager Giphtie Mainoo, who was one of the staff members sketched by Mr Riley, said: “You never expect that you’re going to be featured in a piece of art hanging on the walls of the hospital you work in. It’s an absolute honour and I am so touched.”


Group Director of Estates, Facilities and Capital Lindsay McCluskie said: “We were delighted to welcome Harold and his family back to the Trust to unveil more of his art on our site. As ever, the artwork is beautiful and we are incredibly grateful for Harold’s generosity and support of Salford Royal.”


Mr Riley was born in Salford in 1934 and sold his first painting to the City Art Gallery when he was 11. At 17, he won a scholarship to the Slade and went on to study in Florence and Spain before returning to Salford, where he has lived ever since. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Salford, Manchester, London and Florence.


His deep affection for his home town cemented a friendship with L S Lowry which began when Mr Riley was a student. Together they worked on a project to record the area and its people, a project which Mr Riley continued until the end of the twentieth century. Alongside this portrayal of ordinary working lives, Mr Riley developed his reputation as a portraitist of the rich and famous. He has painted popes, American presidents and royalty. In 2017, Mr Riley was granted the Freedom of the City of Salford.