Stephen Raw (born 1952, London) has lived in Manchester for the last 40-plus years having completed an MA at Manchester Metropolitan University when it was Manchester Polytechnic. He has been a freelance textual artist and designer since his return to Britain after two years teaching at the National Arts School in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Stephen’s work is varied, from paintings in exhibitions to cover designs, and his commercial lettering for a variety of clients, including leading publishers, architects and design groups throughout Europe. ‘Fundamental to all my artwork,’ Stephen says, ‘is a love of language and how that language is given a visual dimension through signs we simply call letters: never-failing sources of inspiration. Letters are images in themselves and, for me, that’s more than enough to be getting on with.’ Collaborations with Carol Ann Duffy, have lead to all sorts of commissions during her tenure.

Having served the maximum of ten years on The Royal Mint Design Advisory Committee he is now able to submit designs himself when invited. He designed the Armistice £2 coin and has 50p coin (under wraps) coming out in 2019. For ten years he has been involved with the charity 'Manchester Aid to Kosovo' and was their Chair for three years.

He has exhibited widely: in Germany, Ireland, the United States and Italy. One of his paintings, words by Nelson Mandela, is in the renowned collection of the Stiftung Archiv der Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Nearly 30 years of Carcanet Press book jacket and cover artwork, is now part of the Carcanet archive, kept by the John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester.

Stephen was a visiting lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art for 15 years and, until recently, was a part-time tutor on the MA Design Course, Manchester Met. He still occasionally lectures at both as well as at many other institutions.

Since 2017, Stephen has been the first Artist-in-Residence at Manchester Cathedral.

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