Luke worked for a time at York Road Mill and later in the Belfast shipyards, studying art at evening classes at Belfast School of Art. In 1927 he was awarded a scholarship which allowed him to attend the Slade School in London where he studied painting and sculpture. He then went on to Westminster School of Art where he studied wood engraving. Luke began to exhibit his work in London but in 1931 the economic recession forced him to return to Belfast, and he spent the rest of his life in Northern Ireland.
Connswater Bridge is one of the first paintings in which Luke’s preoccupation with formal structures became evident, as shown in the use of large masses juxtaposed together in a highly stylised manner. The precise draughtsmanship seen in the painting is typical of his oeuvre. Connswater Bridge, in east Belfast, carried the trains of the Belfast & County Down Railway until the closure of the line in 1951. The bridge was demolished in the 1970s.
Where to see this painting?
Queen's University, Belfast
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection