Biography: Austen Pinkerton
Austen Pinkerton was born in 1951 in North Harrow, north-west London, and educated locally at Pinner County Grammar School, leaving with nine 'O' (Ordinary) level, and four 'A' (Advanced) level passes.
On leaving school he began study at the Oxford School of Architecture, Oxford polytechnic, where he spent the first two years. While at Oxford he had a *One-man show at the Oxford Playhouse, described by the university magazine 'Isis', as 'A delightful breath of fresh air in the gallery'.
At the end of the second year it was suggested that he should consider transferring to Art College, as a result of pictures he included in a second year final exhibition.
He then went to Goldsmiths College, London University, School of Art, graduating in 1976 with a Batchelor of Arts: Fine Art (Painting).
At Goldsmiths School of Art the Principal was Jon Thompson, later mentor to the likes of Damian Hirst, and his tutors included the artists Albert Irvin O.B.E., Basil Beatty, and Andrew Brighton, later to be curator of public events at Tate Modern. The painting school was in the old Surrey Docks Office building, Rotherhithe, at which there was a break-in, and six of his paintings were stolen (and none by any other student to his knowlege). None have ever been recovered.
After leaving Goldsmiths he returned to architecture in order to earn a living. He subsequently worked for about 30 years part-time in a variety of Architectural- related fields, whilst continuing to Paint, Draw, and make Sculptures. For a while he was illustrating and designing the interiors of English traditional pubs in this country, and also, later, abroad,... notably Italy, France and Spain. He has also worked on interior refurbishments of the Law Society, and the Royal College Of Surgeons.
Meanwhile he exhibited his work at many galleries in London,…in particular The Blackheath Gallery, Krane arts, the contemporary arts wing of Krane Kalman, also The Talent Store, Graffitti Gallery, Gagliardi Gallery, and, repeatedly, at The Horniman Museum, South London, and the Gloucester Gallery, Kensington, run by Joan Catlin, former Registrar of The Royal College Of Art, and to one of which exhibitions Sir Eduardo Paolozzi visited by invitation to see his work.
( Paolozzi was a friend of Joan's from the Royal College ).
Between 1990 and 1996 he opened and ran a gallery in East Dulwich, south London, ..'The Austen Pinkerton Gallery' , showing his own work. At this time he was commissioned to produce a series of illustrations for the Times Higher Educational Supplement.
He has had numerous private commissions, most notably three very large installed paintings at No 36 Wharton Street, Islington, which began initially with a picture (one of a pair) for Major Sir Hamish Forbes, Secretary of the Order of St. John, serial prison camp escapee, and former resident of Colditz. When this picture was moved to a new house another was commissioned by the new owner. and the same again when that moved with it's owner.
Up until August 2007 he worked part time as assistant to the architect Richard Lincoln and also the Interior Designer Chester Jones on 'High End Residential' properties in central London.
Included among these was Sir Ridley Scotts house, 'Old Grove House', in Hampstead.
Meanwhile he continued to paint, draw, and make sculptures.
From August 2007 to October 2008 he worked part-time for Chistopher Smallwood Architects, Fulham, London, as a Senior Architectural Technician on High-End Residential projects.
As a result of the collapse in the construction industry in 2008 he set up his own business in partnership with the photographer Stephen Street as a general builder, whilst continuing to work as an artist on average two days a week.
Due to a presence on the American website: ‘Absolutearts’, and the British website: ‘Londonart’, he has to date been offered three exhibitions in the United States, three in the U.K., and exhibitions in Poland and Hong Kong. All the above were offers to participate in large group shows. One exhibition in the USA in North Carolina has so far taken place. He has also contributed to a group exhibition at the Arkhangel gallery in Listowel, Eire.
In 2011 he was offered a two year contract with the Corporate Art branch of the GX fine art Gallery in Camberwell, South London, (Since closed).
From late 2011 he began to enter for public competitions, e.g.: John Moores, BP Portrait award, Whitechapel Open, R. I. of British Watercolour Artists, Pastel Society, R. I. of British Artists, Cork Street Open, Threadneedle competition, Painter Stainers competition, National Art Open….. and has been shortlisted seven times to date.
In October 2012 his picture ‘The Bay’ was chosen for the Threadneedle Prize competition at the Mall Galleries, Central London.
In February 2013 his large drawing ‘Pentre Ifan’ was chosen for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize competition, The Mall Galleries, Central London.
In 2011 his biography was included in the Goldmark Gallery two volume publication of artist biographies:'British Artists Since 1945' by David Buckman. Curiously his, (as far as he was aware), entirely unknown large painting 'Hangliders' was listed by Buckman as a 'Major Work'.
In 2013 he moved with his wife Hilary to Narberth, Pembrokeshire, South-West Wales.
In 2014 he was asked to exhibit two sculptures at the Ceri Richards Gallery, Taliesin Center, Swansea University.
In November 2015 he was asked to enter work for the Winter Show at the Ceri Richards Gallery.
From March 2016 he has been participating in shows at the Waterfront Gallery, Milford Haven, where he is a gallery artist.
In May 2017 a detailed 1300 word critcal review (author unknown) of three of his works along with introduction, conclusion, and references was published on the 'Studentshare' website, used by university students, as an example (presumably) of a Masters Degree essay in Contemporary Art criticism.
( This has since appeared on two other student essay websites ).
In June 2017 he was asked to participate in the 'Art On The Faith Trail' group exhibition at primarily St Davids Cathedral, and also at Mathry Church, Pembrokeshire.
The Art on the Faith Trail show at St Davids was repeated for 2018 (it is an annual event), and he was offered and accepted membership status of the group that year. Also in 2018 he was invited to show at the Qeens Hall Gallery Narberth Summer Open. Also at the Fishgard Arts Society Summer Open.
From August 2018 he has been exhibiting at the PureArt Gallery, Milford Haven
* This show was arranged with the help of Mike Nightingale, and his then wife Angela. Subsequently director of Nightingale architects, Hopspital specialists, and currently director of the Nightingale Foundation.