Edward Povey was born in 1951 in London, England, growing up as an only child, painting obsessively and writing prose and music. He studied drawing at Eastbourne College for Art and Design, and then psychology and painting at The University of Wales. He became known as a mural painter in his twenties and was followed by the BBC through the making of 25 murals up to six stories in height, a period that he came to regard as his apprenticeship.
He moved his studio to the Caribbean island of Grenada to concentrate on his canvas painting for seven years, and his works began finding their way into private collections in the United States. At this time he studied colour and composition with established artists such as Paul Klose of Denmark, the American Malcolm T. Liepke and the Belgian art dealer Jan de Maere. Subsequently he showed in John Whitney Payson’s New York gallery among 20th Century American masters, and with other galleries in seven countries over the coming three decades.
In 1991 The University of Wales commissioned Edward Povey to paint a major mural-style painting for a chamber concert hall in Wales comprising seven panels framed by trompe-l'œil stonework.
By the year 2000 The National Museum of Wales; MOMA Wales; the National Library of Wales; the Glynn Vivien Art Museum; the Anglesey Museum Art Collection and numerous corporate art collections had acquired works by Povey, and in 2018 The British Library documented his career for the British nation.
Edward Povey was unusually sensitive and empathic as a child and was prone to fainting. His life took him through three marriages and two wars, in Israel and the Caribbean, thus it is no coincidence that he was preoccupied with the human experience, following a clear arc from perspectives on society in his 1970s’ murals, through family psychology and symbolism in his works of the 1990s, and culminating with insights into individual human vulnerability and mortality in his current paintings.
He lives and works in Devon, England, and still devotes up to a hundred hours a week to his work.