TURNER RWA, Nicholas

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The paintings of Nicholas Turner RWA reflect a gentle disposition and a poetic modesty. They are calm and unhurried and hark back to a time of peace and tranquillity; subtle reminders of the fundamentals of life. Thus we see a garden, a house, a companion, a dog; all held together in a composition based on the sphere, the cylinder and the cube.

And although Cézanne may be a significant mentor for  Nicholas Turner, it is to the Pointillists and the early influence of his teacher Alfred Stockham that give these paintings their calm authority. Indeed they may even carry the echo of David Inshaw’s domestic exteriors but here again it is a nodding acquaintance rather than direct homage.

Each of the Nicholas Turner paintings is understated and contained within a classic framework. There is no bluster or braggadocio but rather the quiet self-confidence of an artist who has rejected high drama for serious inner contemplation. They are of the soul and the spirit; of harmony and rhythm; of honesty and peace.

We have yet to see the broadening of the vision of Nicholas Turner, but with a namesake of such distinction we can confidently expect that the secure foundation upon which these delightful paintings are based will lead to as yet uncharted territory. Indeed the inclusion of a ship’s sail, the glimpse of the sea or a boat’s funnel are perhaps symbolic of journeys yet to be made.

In the meantime there is much to appreciate from a Nicholas Turner who is mature beyond his years. His sense of colour and instinctive restraint in creating his shadowy world of mystery is that of a natural storyteller and we are the richer for being allowed a glimpse of his unique domain.

Derek Balmer
P.P.R.W.A, Royal West of England Academy

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Nicholas Turner RWA – click image to enlarge

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