Conroy graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1987 when his Degree Show caused a sensation. His ‘arrival’ represented a high-water mark in a period of enormous excitement surrounding the history of The School of Art and of Scottish painting. The painters of New Image Glasgow (Third Eye Centre, 1985) Howson, Campbell, Wiszniewski and Currie in particular were blazing a trail across the contemporary art scene, spiced with a measure of excess and machismo. In 1987, Conroy and his then-girlfriend Alison Watt emerged, sharing a more tonal, enigmatic vision. Conroy’s paintings evoking an Edwardian world of secret societies and arrested violence immediately made his reputation and his drawings in oil and pastel demonstrated a maturity and sophistication beyond his years.