Luke Passey

Artist Luke Passey focuses on shape, pattern, and texture through his work. His work, which is often brightly coloured and easily recognisable, covers everything from traditional prints, canvas paintings and huge murals and can be seen across Manchester.

How would you describe yourself?

I just struggle to talk about myself a lot, but it's because I don't really do art for myself, I do it for other people. I'm Luke Passey, and I'm an artist in Manchester, I like to make a bit of a mess as you can tell. All my works are abstract, free flowing, very expressive and it just comes to my mind in a moment in time. If I'm painting murals, they're always done fairly quickly and, you know, I get stuff done as fast as I can. I like to just make things colourful and bright in places as and when I can.

All my studio stuff is much more intricate and well thought out, I like to spend a lot more time on that stuff because I see it as more of a personal endeavour rather than a gift for a public. If I paint on the shutter or in the streets, it's for other people really, whereas in the studio it's a lot for myself. But maybe they'll get into it.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I genuinely don't know. I just sort of do it, it's spur of the moment. It's all just expression really, but that's what art should be, I think, rather than thought out and over-considered. That kills the excitement and it kills the making process for me. I could look at some of my paintings and I could probably add stuff to them now, but they're already finished because they've already been on a wall. It's more of an experience rather than a project for me.

How has Manchester affected your artistic growth?

Massively. I came to university here, studied graphic design. I learnt a lot of printing techniques, screen printing being one of them, lots of liner cuts, colour graphs. I really just experimented when I was at university. So that basically built the artist who I am. And then when I left university, I had a studio at Islington Mill, which was down the road, and I’ve never really left.

Manchester built who I am, and I've lived here ever since. I've always loved the architecture here in Manchester. The people in Manchester are amazing, it’s very rich in culture, very diverse, there’s lots going on, lots of different people, and there’s a very good sense of community which is always nice in a creative world where you can work with each other or ring your mate for a tool or a certain brush that they might have. Manchester is a great city and I love being here.

Can you remember when you first saw a G9 jacket?

The first time I saw a G9 jacket was when I was around 16 and we could first drive scooters. There was the whole sort of Mod culture that came with it, with Lambrettas and Vespas. Everyone had one, especially my one mate who just always had it on, every single day.

It's a great jacket, it's timeless, it will always be fashionable, it's sort of like a staple for a whole culture that comes with it, that whole scooter scene. It's definitely something that drew me to it. It's just a great jacket, super comfortable, and will go with any outfit. For something to be timeless like that it just needs to be well thought out, well considered, made very well, put together well and be of good quality so it will last.

As a British artist, what does Britishness mean to you?

Being British to me is about the people. It's a very multicultural country. We're lucky enough to be inspired by lots of different cultures. We have great music, loads of great food. We love to have a drink and have a good time.

g9 85th anniversary