Basilica Art


noun (Collins Dictionary)

: an oblong building ending in a semicircular apse (dome) used in ancient Rome especially for a court of justice and place of public assembly.

: an early Christian church building consisting of nave and aisles with clerestory and a large high transept from which an apse projects.

: a Roman Catholic church having special ceremonial rights

The story behind basilica

The name basilica was chosen by the artist’s father Jack Waterhouse, an architect, and an artist in his own right. The connotations include: Jack’s love of fine architecture; upbringing as a Roman Catholic; and a favourite house he converted from a fisherman’s cottage, at Bazil (also spelt Basil) Point, Overton, near Morecambe in Lancashire.

St. Peter's Basilica, Rome

About the Artist

Damien Waterhouse was elected in 1992 to the Society of Graphic Fine Art whose founding president was the eminent engraver, architect and graphic artist Sir Frank Brangwyn. Born in Lancaster in 1955 Damien showed early artistic talent and sold his first prize-winning painting at the age of 12. After leaving school he worked in the design studio at Standfast/Courtaulds, Lancaster, preparing artwork for engraving purposes in the production of fabrics. Damien went freelance and began to specialise in pen and ink drawings of notable buildings and views around Kirkby Lonsdale and also Liverpool, where he had two sell-out solo exhibitions at Liverpool Artists’ Club in the early 1990s. Encouraged and inspired by his architect father Jack Waterhouse, Damien perfected a technique in producing drawings in ink and water colour of amazing detail and accuracy, working from photographs and paying great attention to faithful reproductions of the colours involved.


Basilica Art was originally established to commemorate Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008. But the images are timeless and ageless. The Kirkby Lonsdale collection was created during the more than three decades Damien lived there and became a well-known local artist. The fabulously colourful views of Bequia, an island in the Grenadines in the Caribbean, were the products of an exotic extended working holiday. The drawings of buildings in Saltaire were inspired by the distinctive architecture of a Victorian model village, an interest encouraged by the artist’s architect father, Jack Waterhouse. The Saltaire views include Salts Mill, named after the industrialist philanthropist, Sir Titus Salt, which now houses the world’s largest collection of artworks by Bradford-born David Hockney.