Thursday, February 05, 2009

Edge dwellers

A while back we posted on books about artist studios and the pleasure we got from them so we took down some of the great ones down and had another look. In the back of the Russell / Robertson / Snowden book Private view: the lively world of British art we found this photograph. It is the last image in the book and shows students in the Sculpture School at the Royal College hard at work. Although the accompanying story is about young English artist Derrick Woodham, the other two artists in the photograph are New Zealanders John Panting and Steve Furlonger. Perhaps they were Snowden ring-ins to fill out the picture. It has to be said that Furlonger (who mainly worked in fibreglass) looks a little out of place letting loose with a mallet and chisel, and that it’s hard to imagine Panting, in what looks like his best shirt, working in such messy surroundings (he has obviously laid down some newspaper so his maquette doesn’t get dirty!). Panting died at 34 and in acknowledgement of his meteoric career, he was given a memorial retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 1975. He has work in the collection of the Tate Gallery. Furlonger retired from teaching at the Central School of Art in 1996 and we assume still lives in London. Both returned to New Zealand after they left the Royal College for short stints of teaching at Ilam and Elam and in 1974 had work toured through the country in the exhibition Six New Zealand Artists (the other four were other UK based artists Boyd Webb, Terry Powell, Darcy Lange, and Ken Griffiths).
Image: From the left, John Panting, Steven Furlonger and Derrick Woodham on page 292 of the book Private View