James Faure Walker (b.1948) Marsh Harrier 2016, oil on canvas, 137 X 173cm. Estimate £10,000 - £20,000
National Autistic Society
2023 Art Auction
by James Faure Walker
6 - 26 March 2023
Between 6 and 26 March, we will be auctioning Marsh Harrier by James Faure Walker (b.1948).
All proceeds of the sale will support the launch of key flagship programmes of the National Autistic Society over the next three years that will enable them to better support autistic people and their families.
James Faure Walker is an artist, famed around the world for integrating computer design into artworks and inspiring countless others to do the same.
Born in 1948, James studied at St Martins (1966-1970) and the Royal College of Art (1970-1972). Before integrating digital methods into his work, he had already exhibited his work widely (including in the Hayward Annual 1979 and in a solo exhibition at Manchester’s Whitworth gallery in 1985). James was one of the founders of Artscribe magazine in 1976, which he edited for eight years. He exhibited eight times at SIGGRAPH in the USA; won the ‘Golden Plotter’ prize at Computerkunst, Gladbeck, Germany in 1998; exhibited at the DAM Gallery, Berlin; and featured in Digital Pioneers at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2009. His book, Painting the Digital River: How an Artist Learned to Love the Computer, was published by Prentice Hall (USA) in 2006, and was awarded a New England Book Show Award. He was one of the five English artists commissioned to produce a print for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Six paintings of his, dated from 1979 to 2019, including Marsh Harrier, are currently on display at Clifford Chance.
I didn’t begin with any idea at all about radios. It was during lockdown, when initially I wondered how I could manage what you might call critical distance. Normally I move each day between digital work and painting, watercolour and oil paint, but unable to get to my studio I spent almost four months working exclusively digitally. I was also writing an essay about this, ‘Speed Limits’. Next to my desk is an old GEC radio of around 1950, one collected by my late brother-in-law, acquired through boot sales. I had long wondered how I could make use of them, perhaps simply by drawing them.
I read up about them, and looked at many examples, and if nothing else here was a great source for titles, chosen more or less at random. I was attracted by the arbitrariness of the designs, the styling, such as in the thirties having a streamlined box – a wireless called ‘Airflo’. There are parallels with the lack of function in making digital paintings – or prints. Similarly, the first digital cameras I used more than thirty years ago did not look at all like cameras.
James Faure Walker, 2020