Born in California, Graham Bury graduated in 2005 with a B.A. from Brooks Institute of Photography where he studied portraiture and alternative photographic processes. From cyanotypes to out-size Van Dyke portraits, Graham played with ways that the image could be transformed using older techniques. His work has been shown at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Contemporary Arts Forum in Santa Barbara (now the Museum of Contemporary Art), and the Off Axis Art Festival.
An admirer of the nineteenth-century scientists and gifted amateurs, the plant collectors, geographers, and artists, who explored and documented the far corners of the earth, Graham traveled and photographed in China, Japan, the Philippines, Mexico and Peru. Any collection of Graham’s work would not be complete without some orchids and a celebration of the tropics, the jungle world he loved so much and tried to recreate in his greenhouse.
After Graham was diagnosed with brain cancer and began receiving treatment at the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, he put aside his camera and returned to painting and drawing. His paintings are imaginative and playful, reflecting his boundless curiosity and a mischievous streak. He began his Fat Animals series with the Fat Horse, to tease his equestrienne friend Lisa. His Soup series tantalizes with titles naming the soup contained within a wild array of thermoses. Abstract yet recognizable landscapes, plants of all types, a sleeping polar bear, even a dancing witch–all were painted quickly, with a seeming need to get down as fast a possible the many images that kept joyfully suggesting themselves.
His writing is collected in Wooden Pig, a blog that he created in 2012. The stories are ridiculous and will make you laugh.
Graham died in September 2015. He was 35 years old.
A show of some of his photographic work is planned, with all proceeds from the sale his art going to benefit the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara. Beyond the excellent medical care he received at the center, his life was enriched by the friends he made there, his fellow participants in the Young Adult Cancer Support Group facilitated by Mary Solis and the art classes led by Rick Stich.