Bernard Canavan grew up in County Longford in the 1950s, emigrated to England after he left school, where he did the usual emigrant jobs until he began to draw for many of the London Underground publications of the 1960s. He read politics, philosophy and economics as a mature student and since then he has taught Irish, British and European history at a number of London colleges and his had regular solo shows in galleries and art venues across Ireland, Britain, the US and Spain. 'My pictures are comments on the transformation of Irish values over the past thirty or so years. Some of them are also attempts to remember and record those painful aspects of life that we have sought to suppress in our dash for modernity. None of them are nostalgic - an emotion that appears all too prevalent in Irish art - but whether they are successful only others can tell. My influence are the artists from the great humanist tradition of the past, Rembrandt, Goya, Daumier and expressionists such as Yeats, Beckmann, Paula Rego and some of the recent Glasgow figurative artists, but perhaps the main influences on my work arenot art at all, but the writers - mainly German from Kant and Hegel onwards - who have attempted to teach us to how to recognise each other in the modern world and not be enthralled by cults of physical violence and an obsession with the Beyond.'