Professor Maurice Cockrill RA Visit

Having admired Professor Cockrill's paintings for many years, it was particularly pleasing to arrange for Maurice to tour the Art School and meet our Upper and Lower 6th students. As Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools for the last seven years, Maurice has expertly guided many artists who have studied in the world renowned Schools. Situated next to the Royal Academy of Arts, the institute is Europe's only independent three year postgraduate fine arts course and is entirely self funded.

During a double lesson with all of our Upper 6th, Maurice joined the students and soon became involved with the variety of personal projects that were evolving. Our students described their ideas and intentions and Maurice keenly provided references and considerations to further their work.

Within Maurice's visit, he also kindly held a talk in our Lecture Room. He began by explaining that part of his tenure with the Royal Academy Schools includes raising funds for the postgraduate course. Maurice has introduced a yearly charity event where donated artworks by Royal Academicians are regularly auctioned, and capital is also raised through the annual Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Amongst his fellow Academicians who formed the Hanging Committee in 2011, Maurice helped select works from over 12,500 entries.

Regarding his work as a painter, Maurice discussed how his paintings develop. On deciding to make fine art his career and "live by the brush", his breadth of techniques and themes have become highly regarded. Maurice has created works in figuration and landscape, as well as being engaged with canvases that result in near abstraction. His interest in oriental calligraphy is evident in many of his recent paintings, alongside his fascination with punching through layers of paint, by incorporating liquid latex, to eventually reveal new paint configurations on the final surface.

Our present Artist in Residence, Joe Doldon then invited Maurice to view Joe's first solo exhibition at Marlborough. He escorted Maurice around his latest collection of works, whilst answering his questions.

Maurice's visit gave our students a new insight into his work and he is undoubtedly an outstanding protean painter. We can now in addition, fully appreciate his resolute dedication in also contributing to the contemporary art scene, through his exceptional leadership at the Royal Academy Schools.

To see a slideshow of images from Professor Cockrill's visit please follow the link.

Mr JH Parnham
Head of Art