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Composition: Visionary Head
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge

Composition: Visionary Head 1989

Roy Turner Durrant (1925–1998)

Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge

Painter and poet, born in Lavenham, Suffolk. After a childhood addiction to drawing aeroplanes, he did war service in the Army, then attended Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, 1948–52, being influenced by Keith Vaughan and John Minton. In 1950s 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”. 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.

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


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