Francis A. Shurrock

Aotearoa New Zealand / British, b.1887, d.1977

Sale Day Hawarden, N. Canterbury

Trained at the Royal College of Art in London, Francis Shurrock arrived in New Zealand in 1924 to teach sculptural modelling at the Canterbury College School of Art (now the University of Canterbury). Shurrock was a much-liked and inspiring presence at the College for twenty-five years, and exerted a considerable influence on a generation of students. Among the best-known of these were Russell Clark, Olivia Spencer Bower, Rita Angus, Bill Sutton, Toss Woollaston and Juliet Peter – all of whom feature in this exhibition. This linocut, believed to have been produced as a demonstration piece for Shurrock’s printmaking classes, reflects his often expressed belief in the importance of connecting art to everyday life.

(Beneath the ranges,18 February – 23 October 2017)

earlier labels about this work
  • At one time in the North Canterbury rural community of Hawarden an important weekly event was when the farmers of the region brought their livestock to be auctioned by the local stock agent. Francis Shurrock has captured the sense of everyday reality at the sale yards, with the absorbed farmers and the waiting sheep. Organised in layers, almost like a sculptural basrelief, Shurrock has achieved not only a clever demarcation of forms and volumes, but also a beautifully balanced composition. Born in England, Shurrock received a Royal Exhibition Scholarship in 1909, which enabled him to study at the Royal College of Art, London. He came to New Zealand in 1924 to teach at the Canterbury College School of Art. He held the position until 1948. Shurrock exhibited with the Canterbury Society of Arts and served on the society’s council. He also exhibited with The Group in Christchurch and with the Royal Academy, London. After his retirement he worked on private sculptural projects.