Tuesday, May 15, 2007

In the hood

The University of Auckland’s National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries (NICAI), which includes the Elam School of Fine Arts, invited Stephen Farthing RA to be Hood Fellow for 2007.

Mr Farthing was born in 1950 and was elected RA in 1998 while he was Ruskin Master of Drawing at Oxford. After an extensive teaching career in the UK, Mr Farthing moved to New York in 2000 to become Executive Director of the New York Academy of Art where “The study of the human body and its conceptual and metaphorical aspects are central to the Academy's intensive curriculum.” His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, in a unique gesture, conferred his Patronage on the New York Academy of Art. Mr Farthing now holds the Rootstein Hopkins Chair of Drawing at the University of the Arts London.

Among Mr Farthing’s commissions are: 2004 Cleveland Browns NFL Town Mural for the stadium in Cleveland, Ohio; 1999 Portrait of the historians Eric Hobsbawm, Rodney Hilton, Sir Keith Thomas, Sir John Elliot, Lawrence Stone and Jean Thirsk; 1998 Topographical painting of Dorset for the Dorchester Hospital Trust; 1997 Printed digital scan of oil painting for the façade of the British Embassy in Paris; Carpet design commissioned by the Grosvenor Estate; 1993 Painting of the buildings of the Oxford University Press.

Mr Farthing’s lecture delivered last week on 8 May was titled The bigger picture of drawing. It is the same title as his inaugural lecture in 2005 at the University of the Arts in London. Mr Farthing is keen "to explore why drawing has been dropped as one of the basic elements of communication – and how to get it back into the fundamental curriculum."

The Hood Fellows are awarded to “distinguished academics with outstanding international reputations who are leading their fields in their research work.”
Image: Stephen Farthing's London studio