The son of a boilerman, he worked in the shipyard and the York Street Flax Spinning Mill before winning a scholarship to the School of Art. He went on to the Slade School in London, where Tom Carr and F. E. McWilliam were his contemporaries. After exhibiting in London, he returned to Belfast in 1931. In 1938 he was commissioned to paint a frieze for the Ulster Pavilion in the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow. During the second world war he stopped painting for a time and retired to a cottage in Co. Armagh, earning his living by teaching art at Manor House school. From 1953 he lectured at Belfast College of Art.
In 1951, for the Festival of Britain, Luke painted a large mural representing the history of Belfast on the tympanum of the dome of... read more