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
24 April - 21 May 2023 (extended)
Between 24 April and 21 May, 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.
© Photo by Anne Purkiss
Marsh Harriers have phenomenal vision. They climb to great heights, gliding for mile after mile, scanning the ground for prey. They move without friction. They command the sky. I gaze up at them and wonder what they are seeing.
When I began the picture, I had none of that in mind. It was improvised stage by stage. Some passages were drawn digitally and transcribed, but much was freely brushed, letting the oil paint do its work. Only in the last stage did I include the harrier, a bird I often photograph in Suffolk.
Birds of prey are elusive, just dots in the sky, difficult to see or sketch with the naked eye. I rely on my zoom lens. I have been using paint software for some decades now, so easing that silhouette into the composition felt natural. (It was the kaleidoscopic underwater colour of the Barrier Reef in Australia that first led me into computer graphics – that was back in 1983.) Perhaps there are hints of a tangled structure being pulled apart, a yearning for freedom, the freedom of flight. In this painting the viewer might be looking up into the sky, or looking down from on high, sharing the bird’s vertiginous perspective.
James Faure Walker
We hope that you support us with this unique opportunity to raise funds for a great cause and at the same time acquire an important artwork by a noted artist. Your support will help the National Autistic Society to achieve their vision: creating a society that works for autistic people.
Estimate £10,000 - £20,000
Please complete the form. We will then contact you to receive your bid.
Felix & Spear will be holding an auction of 'Marsh Harrier' painting thanks to the generosity of the artist James Faure Walker. Subject to a reserve price, the highest bidder for the artwork will pay the amount bid, via an invoice to Felix & Spear, who will then donate the highest bid amount to the National Autistic Society (charity number 269425 in England & Wales and SC039427 in Scotland).
24 April - 21 May 2023
VAT to be added to invoice