John Turnock was born in Staffordshire in 1946. He has had a career in engineering, as a teacher of mathematics and in defence electronics research and technology. He moved to Brecon in 2005.
He has always had an interest in the visual arts, and earlier pursuits include wood carving and turning, sketching and painting. He is a self-taught painter, with a special interest in portraiture. He has been influenced by portraiture in the work place (Valerie Ganz and others). He is now producing pictures in a contemporary style to portray sculpture and monuments in acrylics on canvas.
The painting style seen in this exhibition chooses colours from the actual subject, but paints only the gradation of shadows. It was originally influenced by the interaction of the strong sunlight with the rusting steel backed by a pure blue sky at the Six Bells Colliery Disaster monument at Abertillary.
The eight paintings in the Found exhibition were produced in 2014 and include the memorials at Llandovery & Abergavenny in addition to one from the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The titles are chosen to match the mood of the scene and with the intention of evoking the sorrow and hopelessness of war, in which each soldier faces death alone: Lament, Grief, Weary, Despair, Reflexion, Fatique, Why?
The views are taken from various perspectives, some in sunshine, some not, another in the rain, in which the low sun picks out the raindrops. In addition to the varying lighting effects of the weather, the bronze provides a complex mixture of browns, verdigris patinas and metallic sheens. An attempt has been made to use minimal detail and colour to achieve the poignancy of the subject. The titles were chosen with the intention of evoking the sorrow and hopelessness of war, in which each soldier faces death alone.