The Sculpture Collector

Posts Tagged ‘Alan Thornhill’

The Raw Art of Sculptor Alan Thornhill

In Sculpture Personalities, Sculpture Techniques, Sculptures on June 16, 2011 at 8:57 am

Alan Thornhill is a British sculptor who devised his own way of clay-working his sculptural artworks. He creates their composition initially our of course clay parts in a somewhat random selection and does not use the traditional guidance of a wire armature (as do most sculptors). The clay parts are either kiln fired as a whole or cut up and fired individually before re-assembly.

Born in 1921, Thornhill developed his artistic interest from a base knowledge of pottery to a spontaneous development of sculpture. His raw method of sculpting gave room to improvisation. On the other hand his interest in sculpted portraiture challenges the notions of standard and normality. Before his journey into art, Thornhill did several things in his life, including service in the army, and studying up to be a modern historian. In the late 1940’s however, he was accepted into the Camberwood School of Art and studied pottery under Nora Braden. Eventually Thornhill became somewhat frustrated at the repetition involved with creating pottery works. His random nature gave way to the evolution of his interest and he moved to London in 1959 to create his own sculpture studio.

Thornhill Raw Sculpture
Sculpture by Alan Thornhill, Photography by Magnus Manske

His sculpture; “The Bond” was purchased by the Jerwood Foundation and stands today at Ragley Hall. His daughter; Anna Thornill had also created a 40 minute documentary on him and released it in 2008. The biographical film was entitled “Spirit In Mass : Journey Into Sculpture” and had won an award from Screen South and the UK Film Council.

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