Following tertiary studies in printmaking and graphic design John Turpie embarked on a wide-ranging career in the visual arts which, in addition to his ongoing studio practice, has included working on numerous public art commissions and a diversity of visual arts projects (many in conjunction with his partner Siv Grava) with non-Indigenous and Indigenous communities in South Australian and the Northern Territory. Turpie has spent most of his professional life living and working ‘on the edge’. Living north of Hawker for eight years, in Maree, then Andamooka for ten years before permanently settling in 2000 at Elliston, has given him the sense of isolation and a feeling of freedom that is central to his life and work.
John’s sculptural practice bears the stamp of later 20th century conceptual art, and incorporates a preference for using found objects and materials. John has presented in numerous exhibitions and his works reside in public and private art collections. In 2006, he was instrumental in devising the Elliston ‘Sculpture on the Cliffs’, a biennial event for which some sculptures remain on permanent exhibit, and which remains an evolving commemoration the 1839 and 1849 massacres of Aboriginal people at the Elliston cliffs.
John’s awards include the Port Pirie Art Prize (2000) and the City of Whyalla Art Prize (1999 & 1995). John’s work is represented in civic, university (including FlindersUniversityArt Museumand Universityof Adelaide) art collections and private collections. In his practice he has worked across a wide variety of media. His pictorial work includes painting and works on paper in which a characteristic feeling for line and the distinctive morphology of sea, shorelines and inland is evident. This can be seen in Southern Wanderer (2012) in which the spikiness of the pen lines conveys a sense of compression and release and the edge between line and space. In 2006 John created a large ground installation near his Elliston studio using abalone shells arranged in the shape of a human ear. The title of the work 1000 ears to the ground reflects the artist’s view that in life (and in choosing to live on the edge) one needs be alert and stay in touch.
See more at: http://www.countryarts.org.au/artists-register/john-turpie/#sthash.0cjXr157.dpuf
Creative Work Examples: Previous Artworks