Posted: 15th February 2021
Artist Victor Newsome (1935 – 2018) was born in Leeds and studied at Leeds College of Art. In 1960, Victor was awarded a Prix-de-Rome in Painting at the British School.
We are delighted to present a short video created especially for Ferens as part of the Victor Newsome research project led by Dr Sarah Bowen of the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University, in collaboration with the artist’s daughter Susanna Newsome. The project investigates the artist’s working methods, his contribution to the arts and his personal, aesthetic and pedagogic impact. It currently consists of 16 interviews with people who played a significant part in his life and career.
On his return from Rome, Victor was offered a teaching post at Leicester College of Art with his former tutor Tom Hudson. Developed first at Leeds School of Art by Tom Hudson and Harry Thubron, drawing on constructivism and the Bauhaus, Hudson’s new ‘basic course’ turned Leicester College of Art into one of the most radical art teaching institutes in the UK with the ‘basic’ course becoming the nationally established art school ‘Foundation Year’. This ‘proto-commune’ of artists became known as The Leicester Group.
An exhibition in Naples in 2019 came out of the research and presented for the first time Victor’s work as a continuum (described as his Sculpture Cycle, Bathroom Cycle, Figurative Cycle and Sacred Cycle). It was also the first time the public had the opportunity to access Victor’s archive, now available through Tate Britain. This video for the Ferens also draws on these archive interviews and photographs.