Seven Decades of Painting
Alfred Stockham had a distinguished career. Born in London, he loved painting from his earliest years but followed the family tradition and spent seven years in the Royal Navy before studying at Camberwell School of Art, followed by three years at the Royal College of Art where he was awarded a Silver Medal.
Between 1966 and 1967 he became a Rome Scholar and after a one year appointment as Granada Arts Fellow at the University of York, he joined Bristol Polytechnic (now the University of the West of England) as a lecturer going on to become Head of Fine Art.
Witty, gregarious and generous, he helped and influenced fellow artists from David Inshaw to Stewart Geddes. As a teacher, a friend and a colleague he has always been an inspiration.
"Alfred Stockham’s paintings are pure poetry. A master of colour, his oil paints glow like gold, the colours responding to one another in dynamic relationships. Reducing his abstract or figurative forms to merest suggestion, blocks of many-layered colour, his simple yet perfect compositions sing with a kind of narrative tension." Anna Powell, Sladers Yard Gallery
Alfred was elected a full member of the Royal West of England Academy in 1993 and was Honorary Curator of the permanent collection of the RWA from 2001 until he retired. Still painting, his life was constrained now by illness, although he was as witty and perspicacious as ever. His work is in public collections throughout Britain and Ireland and in private collections worldwide.
‘Alfred Stockham’s small landscapes are as haunting as ever.’ John Russell Taylor, The Times, reviewing the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
Citing influences on his work Alfred acknowledged that 150 years of modern painting had played a significant part in his development as an artist.
"Over many years, I have gradually refined my approach to 2D design, aware that true greatness lies in simplicity. My aim is to create an underlying visual dynamic. The poetry of the subject and the poetry of the structure support each other. The real or observed world and the subconscious dream world both play their part to make a painting sing." Alfred Stockham
"Stockham is an accomplished colourist. He can make the oil paint glow like an icon by the subtle and judicious handling of tone... His colour can communicate every nuance of the hour or the season." Edward Phelps, Art Critic.
Alfred Stockham had several solo shows in the West Country including the Plymouth Arts Centre in 1976 and Park Street Gallery Bristol in 1979. In 1982 and 1985 he exhibited at the Neville Gallery Bath and in 1992 at Anthony Hepworth in Bath. His participation in group exhibitions was extensive. Each year from 1988 to 1997 he was shown at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions and from 1992 to 1997 he was included in the RWA Autumn Shows. The Bruton Street Gallery in London in 1995, Austin Desmond London in 1996, the New Ashgate Gallery Farnham in 1997 and the Six Academicians of the same year at the RWA are just some of the venues where his work has been included in mixed shows.