ROY TURNER DURRANT (1925 – 1998) F.R.S.A., F.F.P.S., A.I.A.
Mixed Media on paper. Signed & Dated 1952. 20” x 30”
Inscribed on reverse: “Parsons one-man 1953. Coffee House, Trafalgar Square 1952.” IMAGE
Roy Turner Durrant was born at Lavenham, Suffolk on 4th October 1925, the son of Francis Henry Durrant and Edna May (nee Turner). He was educated at Lavenham and, after a childhood addiction to drawing aeroplanes, he served with the Suffolk Regiment from 1944 to 1947, and then attended the Camberwell School of Art from 1948-52, being influenced by Keith Vaughan and John Minton. In the 1950s he developed from figuration to abstraction. He said that any titles on his pictures were "meant to be interpreted as poetry, to engender a state of mind rather than describe exactly what the particular picture is". He was influenced by European abstractionists and by English poetry, such as that of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Thomas Hardy, also by the work of James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Dylan Thomas. As well as painting, Durrant was employed in administrative work at Vickers from 1956-63 and was a director of the Heffer Gallery, Cambridge, 1963-76. He showed with Free Painters and Sculptors, of which he was a fellow and with the New English Art Club, of which he was a Member, and quite often with the Royal Academy from 1950. After a solo show at Guildhall, Lavenham in 1948 he showed regularly, later exhibitions including Loggia Gallery, Gallery of British Art in Lausanne and Belgrave Gallery in 1991. He also exhibited at the Leicester Galleries (Artists of Fame and Promise), and the London Group, with one-man shows at Guildhall (1948), Cromwell Gallery (1949), Beaux Arts Gallery (1950), Playhouse Theatre, Kidderminster (1951); Kensington Art Gallery (1951); Coffee House, Trafalgar Square (1952), Parson's Gallery (1953); Everyman Cinema, Hampstead (1953); Roland, Browse and Delbanco (1954); County Cinema, Sudbury (Suffolk) 1954; New Vision Art Centre (1957); A.I.A. (1957); Everyman Cinema, Hampstead (1958); Grabowski Gallery (1959); New Gallery Ipswich (1960); Phoenix Gallery, Lavenham (1960); New Vision Gallery (1960); Gainsborough's House, Sudbury (1961); A.I.I. Gallery, London (1969) and the Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge (1969). Works in permanent collections include The Imperial War Museum; Southampton Art Gallery; Bury St. Edmunds Cornhill Gallery; Leeds University; Bradford City Art Gallery; Grenville College, Stone-by-Clare, Suffolk; Holywell Manor, Oxford; Pembroke College, Oxford; Trinity College, Cambridge; Balliol College, Oxford; Kettles Yard College, Cambridge; University of Adelaide, Australia; University of Massachusetts, U.S.A. and in private collections in Britain, U.S.A. and Europe. His work has been reproduced in The Studio, The Artist, Art Gazette, Oblicze Tygodnia, etc. He was a Member of the Artists International Association and the Cambridge Society of Painters. In 1960 he published "A Rag Book of Love" (poems), with the Scorpion Press. He lived in Cambridge.