Graham Ovenden

born 1943

Biography

Graham Stuart Ovenden (born 11 February 1943) is an English painter, fine art photographer and writer. His estranged wife is the artist Annie Ovenden. Their daughter, Emily, is a writer and a singer with the Mediæval Bæbes.

Some of Ovenden's art has been investigated as possible child pornography by US and UK authorities on a number of occasions. In 2009 Ovenden was prosecuted in the UK on a charge of creating indecent images. A first jury was discharged and a second trial collapsed when the prosecution witnesses did not appear in court. As a result of these investigations, Ovenden's work received support from leading figures in the art world.

In April 2013, Ovenden was found guilty of six charges of indecency with a child and one charge of indecent assault against a child, charges relating to girls who had modelled for him. Following his conviction, the Tate gallery removed images of his work from its online gallery, and also removed access to his work in its galleries, although it later decided to reinstate three abstract landscapes to the permanent gallery on its website. Ovenden was sentenced on 3 June 2013 to a year's imprisonment suspended for two years. When sentencing Ovenden, Judge Graham Cottle told him he cloaked his sexual interest by claiming it was an artistic one. Cottle said a "stream" of young girls had arrived at Ovenden's home, Barley Splatt on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, to be photographed. "The girls had no understanding at that time of the true purpose behind what you were doing, a purpose that was undoubtedly sexual." The judge went on to say that one of the indecency offences Ovenden was convicted of – asking a girl to touch him while they were in a bath together – could today be treated as inciting a child to engage in a sexual act, carrying a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.

The suspended sentence was considered unduly lenient, and on 5 June 2013 the Attorney General announced he had begun a review into whether the sentence.

On 9 October 2013, Ovenden was jailed for two years and three months by the Court of Appeal. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, ruled the sentence should never have been suspended and noted that Ovenden had not shown a "shred of remorse."

Read full Wikipedia entry

Artist

Peter Blake

born 1932
Artist

David Inshaw

born 1943