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Norman Charles Blamey (16 December 1914 – 17 January 2000) was an English painter, noted latterly for his portraits and depictions of Church ritual.
"The painter Norman Blamey, who has died aged 85, was a consummate draughtsman specialising in contemplative domestic subjects and episodes from the liturgy of the Anglo-Catholic church. His paintings have only recently been given due recognition, for both his subject and his style were unusual, but he brought to his work an intensity that expresses not only the spirituality of high Anglicans but of all who value ritual.
The setting of Blamey's religious pieces was usually Old St Pancras church, London, where he worshipped all his life, and his pictures sometimes show him as an assistant in the ritual.
In his work, the sense of the spiritual was translated into a crystalline geometry, worked out with a fascination for mathematics worthy of the early renaissance masters. Space is telescoped, manipulated to form tightly-knit compositions in which the human figure creates powerful patterns. The depictions of ritual make telling use of this device, with lines of repeated cassocks and copes building up magnificent counterpoint, while dull tertiary colours, with greys and whites, supply a rich, subdued harmony.
Blamey was born in St Pancras, the only son of a manufacturing chemist and his wife. His first studies in art were at the Regent Street polytechnic, and he went on to teach there himself. He first showed at the Royal Academy in 1938, and continued to do so for 50 years. His war was spent with the army in Egypt, Palestine and the Lebanon, where, in hospital, he made a series of fine drawings of his fellow patients.
After the war, Blamey returned to the Regent Street poly, and, in the 1950s, began to produce the sequence of paintings of ritual that forms the backbone of his output. In 1956, he was commissioned to decorate the apse of St Luke's..."