William Dewhurst SGFA
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William Dewhurst is an artist/printmaker specializing in woodcuts. He is also an editioner (etchings) for other artists. His art is mainly in private collections, and in the Australian, Dutch, and Belgian Embassies of Saudi Arabia.
William was born in 1940 in a Welsh expatriate mining community near Wigan, Lancashire. Educated at Brookland Hall School, Welshpool, he attended the School of Military Survey RE. Hermitage, Newbury, Berks.
Surveyor Topographical/Cartographer/Lithographic Artist.
For 12 years William was with 47 Cartographic Sqd. 42 Royal Engineers Survey Regt. He held various graphic design positions in commercial printing companies, including 10 years as typographer for Saudi Arabian Airlines. His exhibitions include:
- 1979 − First one-man exhibition ‘Something for Everybody’, The Redec Plaza Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
- 1980 − Elected to ‘The Jeddah 52’ and exhibited with the Society until I left Saudi Arabia in 1987.
- 2002 − Fresh Art, The Design Centre, Islington; ‘Printworks’ The Harley Gallery, Welbeck. A Printmakers Council exhibition in conjunction with Sir Peter Blake’s exhibition ‘Over the Rainbow’.
He also exhibits in local galleries.
About 40 years ago I was lucky enough to see an exhibition of German and Italian 16th and 17th century woodcuts: ‘chiaroscuro woodcuts’, the contemporary artists’ and printers’ way of depicting light and form for work available to a wider audience (back then no other media were available).
There was a monumental and sculptural quality to these woodcuts. This, coupled with my great love of ‘grisaille’ or monochrome underpainting, had a marked effect on my artistic output − oils and watercolour.
In 1994 I acquired an intaglio press, mainly to commercially produce etching editions for other artists and to give private tuition. I devised a tympan and register system to create relief prints on the intaglio cylinder. My aim was to push the woodcut as far as I could, technically and aesthetically.
Motif and diversity of colour are of secondary importance. I occasionally use pertinent symbolism if it’s essential to convey the intention of the work, but I always try to aim for a straightforward symbolism.
As for diversity of colour, sculptural concepts have little need for colour − the repetitive shades of a single colour enhance form — but if I do need supplementary colour, watercolour or gouache will suffice.
I place great importance on craftsmanship. With the exception of metallics, I mix my own inks and all work is autograph. The therapeutic benefits of block-cutting, and the terrific sense of achievement when pulling the first sheet off the final block, cannot be equalled.