Professor David Carpanini
PPRE. Hon RWS. RWA. NEAC
Art Master at KHS1972-1978
In David Carpanini's own words: I was art master at Kingham Hill School from September 1972 until December 1978. Appointed by Teddy Cooper it was my first teaching post and I recall those years as amongst the most rewarding and fulfilling of my career.
David Carpanini was born in Glamorgan in 1946. He was trained at Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, Cheltenham, the Royal College of Art and the University of Reading. He was Professor of Art at the University of Wolverhampton from 1992 to 2000 and President of the Royal Society of Painter - Printmakers from 1995 to 2003.
In 1969 he won the British Institutions Awards Committees Annual Scholarship for engraving and has since exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and in numerous other major group and solo exhibitions in the UK and abroad.
One of David Carpanini's pictures has a close connection with Kingham Hill School.
The painting (shown below) entitled "Friends and Neighbours" featured Mrs Knight (photo right) and her close friend Esme Mehan. Many will recall that Mrs Knight worked and lived at KHS caring for the boys for many years. Esme was the daughter of one of the ground staff. There is more information about Mrs Knight in our article about Plymouth House.
The painting David tells us was in fact completed many years after he left Kingham Hill. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer exhibition in 1993.
David Carpanini's work has been the subject of three television documentaries and has been acquired by numerous prestigious collections including: the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, Newport Museum and Art Gallery, Her Majesty the Queen, Windsor, National Museum of Wales, National Library of Wales, Contemporary Art Society of Wales, British Steel, Rank Xerox, British National Oil Corporation, National Coal Board, Government Art Collection DOE, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge as well as many University and College collections.
Most of David Carpanini's work has focused on the valleys and former mining communities of South Wales. Speaking of his work in Art Review in June 1998, Carpanini said:
Shadows in a Theatre of Dreams (Acrylic)
"My inspiration lies in the contemplation of the familiar. I believe that man has a special bond, a special relationship with that part of Earth which nourishes his boyhood and it is in the valleys and former mining communities of South Wales, scarred by industrialisation but home for a resolute people that I have found the trigger for my creative imagination. The stark landscape and close knit, often claustrophobic social infrastructure are a fundamental part of my own background and I have attempted to use the natural drama of this location to explore aspects of the human condition such as fear, isolation, loneliness, brutality, dignity, pride and hope.
All my paintings and prints are studio assemblages, unhurried distillations of sketchbook observations and visual memories. I have always made extensive use of small notebooks. These are working tools in which I make records of both a graphic and literary nature. These observations are not always put to immediate use; indeed months, even years may elapse before a particular theme is explored further. It is from this reservoir of materials that my pictures grow. The design and manner of any work arises as a natural process of growth and evolution; as an extension of object and purpose, not imposed in a preconceived way."
Lure it Back to Cancel Half a Line (Acrylic)
Much of this information for this article was obtained from the web pages of the Attic Gallery.