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The Family
© DACS 2021. Photo credit: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

The Family 1961

Charles Blackman (b.1928)

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Versatile and imaginative figurative artist and designer, in whose work themes such as the schoolgirl, family intimacies and blindness (his writer/poet wife until 1980 Barbara (Patterson) early received an invalid/blind pension) were important. He was born and eventually settled in Sydney, Australia, leaving school before his fourteenth birthday after an unsettled childhood. Worked as a copy boy on the Sun newspaper, 1942–5, attending evening classes at East Sydney Technical School; then gained a Sun art cadetship, 1946–7, having as his only formal painting training a few lessons with Hayward Veal at Meldrum School of Painting. Introduced to modern literature and art by the poet Lois Hunter, he left the Sun and began a wandering period of odd jobs, self-education and hard painting, in 1952 attending lithography classes run by technician Ben Crosskell at Melbourne Technical College.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)


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