Peter Thursby (1930-2011)
D: 14.0 cm
Vertical or horizontal orientation
Sculptor in bronze, sterling silver, resin fibreglass and slate, and teacher, born in Salisbury, Wiltshire. He studied at West of England College of Art, Bristol, under Paul Feiler, then sculpture at Exeter College of Art & Design. He held various teaching posts, notably head of art at Hele’s Grammar School, Exeter, 1960–71, then head of art and later head of school of art and design at Exeter College, Exeter, 1971–91. Thursby was a member of RWA, president 1995-00, and a fellow of RBS. Rodin, César Baldaccini, Jean Ipousteguy, Brancusi, Richier, Gabo, Viera da Silva and Tapiés were cited as influences. Thursby said that “both my large and small sculptures embody a sense of architectonic power … The image is invariably vertical … Apart from the early 1960s and 1970s, my two-and three-dimensional work has been distinctly abstract.
There is a deep sense of symbolism within.” Public commissions included Randolf House, Croydon, 1966; Looking Forward, commissioned by Exeter City Sculpture to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee, 1977; Mazda Cars Head Office, Tunbridge Wells, bronze fountain and sculpture, 1982; Designed Growth, bronze relief, Rowan House, Westminster, 1986. Thursby had a solo show at Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, in 1963, later ones including Alwin Gallery, 1976, RWA, 1981, Bruton Street Gallery, 1995 and 1998, and retrospectives of sculpture and drawings at Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter, 2000, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, 2003, and Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery, 2005. Two dozen public bodies hold his work, including Arnolfini and RWA; Royal Albert Memorial Museum; Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery; and the Society of West End Theatres. Lived in Pinhoe, Exeter, Devon.
Text source: ‘Artists in Britain Since 1945’ by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)