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Richard Thornton

Organic Elements

Online Exhibition: May 10th -  June 7th 2021

Richard Thornton's sculptures are organic in nature and elemental in their power. Stainless steel is crafted into forms that reference and reflect nature and its limitless potential. This is projected through sweeping curves, shell-like spirals and arcs that reach skyward.


His sculptures range in scale from tabletop size, where every fold of steel and intersecting line can be followed and traced by eye, to the monumental where the viewer almost becomes part of the sculpture liberated by the scale and inspired by the elegance of movement. Any trace of the force needed to shape such complex pieces is expertly concealed by their often balletic nature.


Sculptures such as 'No.23 Folding Sail' and 'No.283 Cordiform' carry direct references to the sail of a boat and sea urchin shell respectively. Whereas the sculptures 'No.162 Red Spray', 'No.167 Blue Sea Spray' and 'No.168 Sun Sea Spray' that form the 'Spray' series are wholly abstract in form and could be likened to an expressive painting suspended in the air. It is this dichotomy that lends Richard's work such power and intrigue.

Richard has over 25 years experience as a sculptor and site specific artist, he has completed more than 45 public art commissions for a variety of private, local authority and individual clients. These include a monumental work at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, a piece for the University of Bradford, sculpture at Bio City in Nottingham and a unique sculpture for Midlands Air Ambulance.

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 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.


Richard is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. He 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.

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