With over twenty five years experience as a professional sculptor/site specific artist Richard has successfully completed more than 45 public art commissions for a variety of private, local authority and individual clients, including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, ASDA, University of Bradford, Morrison’s and Bio City, Nottingham.
Alongside his commissioned work he has continually developed his own practice producing collections of work exploring techniques from bronze casting to construction and focusing on subjects from the human body to abstraction to organic forms.
He has recently presented his work at various shows including the British Council, Delhi, University of Leicester summer exhibition, Doddington Hall Biennial Sculpture show and a one man show at Abbeywalk gallery.
Currently a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, Richard was educated at Kingston and Nottingham Trent universities and served as sculptor fellow at the University of Exeter before teaching at various Higher Education institutions.
Professor Jim Hunter has said that, “Richard constructs his sculptures in aluminium, stainless steel and glass materials of surface and edge that come alive with light and reflection. These abstract forms create a balance between organic elegance and engineered integrity.”
Stainless steel plinths
The plinths are made in satin finish stainless steel. The sculpture is fixed to the plinth from the inside and so is not easily removed or knocked over.
If being used in an outside space it can be fixed to virtually any surface – the fourth panel of each plinth is removable so that the structure can be fixed neatly into place from the inside.
The plinths therefore make the sculpture secure as well as enhancing their presence in an outdoor or indoor setting.
Sculpture is the embodiment of an idea or ideal in material, three-dimensional form. The materiality is inseparable to the expression and understanding of the idea, and the physicality of the three dimensional form is both the subject and the object of the sculptor’s creative intentions. Richard Thornton’s sculptures manifest these critical ideals in their honesty to the means and materials of their making. His sculptures are constructions: the elements of their form are joined and built together to construct the three dimensional realisation of the form. The material is usually stainless steel: cut, shaped, welded and riveted as elements of the whole. And, importantly, polished: polished so that the surrounding light and colour is picked up, reflected and becomes a part of the construction.
The structural elements, of polished stainless steel, have edge and plane: as such they enclose and articulate the space within and around the sculpture. The spaces drawn by the structure, in between and around the edges and planes, become an integral part of the form of the sculpture. They are sculptures that have a dynamic relationship with the environment that they are placed in. Outdoors they enliven the space in which they are sited with the inter-play between their constructed form and the natural forms seen through, beyond and reflected upon their polished surfaces.
As ‘sculptures that are constructed’ the methods of their making share much of the values of the craftsperson and artisan and the technical precision of industrial fabrication. It is important to know that these are works made by Richard Thornton and not made for Richard Thornton. They are works of high skill and Richard Thornton is a highly skilled sculptor. His studio workshop is a very impressive place of work, a place where skilled working creates sculptures that embody the ideal of honesty in the means and materials of their making.
Professor Jim Hunter
Deputy Vice Chancellor
The Arts UniversityBournemouth