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Thornton Walker: Still Life with Quince

The Artist

According to the Australian Galleries  Thornton Walker was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1953, and emigrated to Australia, settling in Melbourne in 1965. He graduated with a Diploma of Art (Printmaking) from the Prahran College of Advanced Education in 1976, and began a Post Graduate Diploma (Printmaking) at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne in 1977. The artist’s first solo exhibition was held in Melbourne in 1980. He has continued to exhibit nationally ever since. Walker’s work is represented in collections in the British Museum and Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya, Japan and throughout Australia including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane, Artbank, University of New South Wales, Philip Morris Arts Grant Collection: Parliament House, Canberra, Macquarie Bank and AXA Australia.

Thornton Walker Still life with Quince

The Work of Art

Thornton Walker's art concentrates  in  two genres, landscape and  still-life. According to  the Beaver Art Galleries, Canberra, Thornton experimented with the  the dynamics of composition, perspective and spatial depth, expressed through a technique he has refined of thinning oil paint with different alkyd mediums so as to achieve effects of fluidity and unpredictability. Sometimes, too, he scrapes the surfaces of his works to soften or veil their images.  Through his still lifes, he explores arrangements of quiet objects of ascetic, ruminative character – calligraphy brushes, skulls, leaves, fragments of Eastern poetry.  What may seem to be quite a monotone  canvas actually has some depth and meaning.  The position of the drapery and the fruit draws the viewer into the composition. Other works by Thornton have a similar effect and nature to them.

Still Life with Quince was painted using oils onto canvas and was created in 1992. The work was displayed at the Canberra Museum and Art Gallery in 1999 as part of the Collective Wisdom exhibition jointly held  with the Australian National University.