Born in Warwickshire, England in 1945, armed with a simple schooling and a love of drawing, he ended up in London working in the world of advertising. Eleven agencies, two continents and four decades later, he left the communications world and went to York University in Toronto to study Fine Arts.
Since leaving York as a painter, Smalley has explored the complexities of abstraction and the highly emotive images that evolve from this process.
The shapes hat emerge from the surface of this work evoke glimpses of this life and his environment, but also carry a strong legacy from a four decade in advertising.
His deep attraction of calligraphy and mark making permeates his work through his emphasis on a visible line and his dedication to follow its connection throughout each work.
There is a strong emphasis on gravity that gradually yields to an integration of disconnected fragments and forms, resulting in a strong expressionistic vista that extends beyond pure abstraction into a rich and complex language.