2 August - 5 August 2012
about the exhibition
Despite the diversity of Thornton Walker’s subject matter andtechnique, his interest in the dynamics of composition, perspective and spatial depth remains constant.Thornton creates paintings and etchings that explore the ‘frozen moments’ captured by photography and film. Each work portrays a snapshot in time, a single moment in a detailed narrative, full of animation and life but left to the viewer’s imagination to complete. An anonymous figure running through snow-covered woodlands, haunting winter landscapes, Chinese faces that gaze out at us from history, are all overwhelmingly beautiful yet mysterious, as if waiting for the next line in their stories. Recent works include pastels on prepared watercolour paper using a technique of mixing oil paint with different alkyd mediums to create a very thin paint with virtually no viscosity. This allows Thornton to produce a painterly effect that is both fluid and unpredictable. In a new series of etchings, Thornton re-interprets works already completed and creates studies for works still to come, yet the etchings arrive as finished works with a unique feel. As ever, his impressive and powerful canvases allow the viewers to immerse themselves in his extraordinary imagery. Demonstrating a masterful and sensitive handling of surfaces, Thornton’s works enchant uswith their combination of unique material and spiritual qualities.
Thornton Walker studied printmaking at the Prahran College of Advanced Education and the Victorian College of the Arts inMelbourne. After graduating in 1977, Thornton spent the next eight years travelling extensively and later undertook studio residenciesin Europe and Asia as well as a Fellowship with the Australian Print Workshop in Melbourne. His most recent residency in Penang resulted in the ‘Georgetown’ series of works where faded photographs from temples and clan house walls inspired thiscaptivating view of an alluring foreign culture. With over forty solo exhibitions to his name, Thornton has become one of Australia’s most successful and renowned figurative tonal painters. His work is represented in many collections including the National Gallery ofAustralia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Artbank, Parliament House and the British Museum.