During our recent visit to Yorkshire Sculpture Park I happened on William Turnball who was part of a new generation of British Sculptures that emerged after World War II, that included Lynn Chadwick, Elizabeth Frink and Eduardo Paolozzi. His experiences as a pilot in the RAF during the World War II gave him a new sense of aerial views, and from contact with other cultures.
This, together with his knowledge of American Sculpture, was greatly influential on his work which frequently developed from looking at a simple utensil or tool. For example, “Large Horse” take the shape of the adze – an arched, axe like tool.
Horses are a prevalent motif in art and are often used in monuments of war heroes to signify power and victory in battle. Turnball reworked the figure of the horse throughout his career, reducing it to its basic form, as illustrated in “Large Horse”, which is sited at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (see above.) William Turnbill offers a new interpretation on the theme of the horse sculpture. Although large in scale, the work conveys a graceful innocence, suggesting movement more than power.
Large Idol (See Below) form part of Turnbill’s series of pared back, minimal ‘Idol’ sculptures of the human form which the artist made over the course of several years. Although less than two meters high, Large Idol is a monumental work in terms of its form and presence, with both phallic and female fertility.
Together with artists including Eduardo Paolozzi, Turnball was a member of the groundbreaking Independent Group, which began at the institute of Contemporary Arts, London 1952.
I Recommend to watch the trailer below about Turnbull life
Photographed by Roland Keates at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
To find out more about Turnbull view these links