Born in Brighton, England, in a Sussex downland environment, Brian Blanchflower has had a strong affinity with nature since childhood. During the late 1950s he studied at Brighton College of Art, a very traditional art school with no art theory, and almost no art history. His first major painting, The Four Squares (Red, Yellow, Blue, Black) was made in 1965.
In 1970, while living in London, Blanchflower married an Australian and in 1972 they came to Western Australia by sea. Frequent trips to the south coast of Western Australia and to the salt-lake region north-east of Perth formed the basis for many works throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Since then his work has become increasingly more abstract.
Music has been a constant source of inspiration for Blanchflower as well as an intellectual and emotional challenge. The works of Cage, Varese and Webern from the sixties, and later Ligeti, Xenakis, and more recently Scelsi, as well as classical composers such as Bach and Bruckner, have played an important role in his development as an artist. He has painted several homages to composers, and the British/Australian composer Roger Smalley has written a homage to Blanchflower (Diptych, 1990-92).
Since 1974, Blanchflower has held numerous solo exhibitions in Perth and Sydney, and has taken part in group shows in Japan and China as well as in Australia. He was a lecturer in Fine Art at WAIT (now Curtin University) from 1972 to 1981. He was artist in residence at AIR and SPACE studio, London, 1983/84 and at Pier Art Centre, Orkney, in 1984.
Works by Brian Blanchflower
Volume One: MCA Collection– Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) 2012
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