Rex Turnbull’s art is about story telling. Each work has a narrative. This narrative is for the artist to know and for the viewer to discover. We understand that art is subjective and what appeals to one may not appeal to another. Similarly – the interpretation of the ‘visual’ can be totally different from one person to another. To provide a platform for discussion is important to Rex Turnbull. The titles are often suggestive to give the audience a starting point from which to wonder.
Rex Turnbull was born in Taihape, on the North Island of New Zealand, a Maori of Ngati Tuwharetoa decent. He grew up on his parent’s farm and for seven years, between the ages of 11 and 18, his parents paid the Dutch master, Martin Rostenberg, then resident in New Zealand, to provide private art tuition. Turnbull continued to paint and exhibit as he studied Graphic Design at the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design. Rex Turnbull has been a finalist in numerous national awards and was the winner of the Kelliher Award in Dunedin, NZ in 1974. He was a Wynne Prize Finalist at Art Gallery of NSW in 2014, 2008 & 2007. He was also a Mosman Art Prize Finalist in 2011 & 2009, Muswellbrook Art Prize Finalist & Kogarah City Art Prize Finalist in 2015, Blacktown Art Prize Finalist in 2011, Mortimer Art Prize Finalist in 2010, Blake Prize finalist and Paddington Art Prize Finalist in 2009, Central Coast Art Awards Finalist in 2008, Fishers Ghost Art Award Finalist in 2007. In 2007 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London and his works are in private and public collections in USA, UK, Greece, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand.