Q. So who was the tutor who had that sheet of stainless steel?
A. It belonged to John Hoskin.
"The sheet was cut up into five strips by student Bob Waddell, who also polished the edges... it became part of the Darlington sculpture (photo)."
Thanks to Mike Marsden (again!), for the info in this page and foresight in archiving 'old press cuttings' for a page on John Hoskin.
He must have known there would be a BAA site eventually!
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(photo from the Yorkshire Post - 1969)
The Darlington sculpture by John Hoskin

...and it's still there folks - 33 years later!
In front of the Town Hall, June 2002.
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The two-and-a-half ton 18ft sculpture was commissioned by the Darlington Lions Club and was described in the Yorkshire Post as being a 'controversial sculpture in the forecourt of the town's new civic centre. Made from mild steel and stainless steels and designed by Mr John Hoskin, 48, a lecturer at Leeds University.'
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Obituary from The Guardian, 1990

John Hoskin
Heavy metal balance
“. . . being a very distinct personality, he belongs to the animistic or magical trend in the now recognisable school of English sculpture.” —   Herbert Read
JOHN Hoskin trained as an architect’s draughts man before Army service during the war. He first began drawing when he returned from Germany, although he had no understanding or knowledge of the world of art.
To escape the dull routine of the office he hitch-hiked to Cornwall. The stranger who gave him a lift was Terry Frost, now one of the few surviving painters from the St Ives school, and by the end of that long car journey, John knew that he had to become an artist, because, as he put it, “it was as if my whole life until then had been playing out of tune.”
He began making sculpture in the early Fifties, supporting himself with casual labouring jobs. He worked in metal. He made shiny curved surfaces contrast with the black welded comb of rods that held them, a conflict of geometric and organic forms.
He also made figures, abstract figures of hollow cages on single legs, ambiguous forms that grew like a drawing by welding rods on top of rods, the dribbles of molten metal like running paint.
He soon became one of the most noted younger British sculptors, with successful one- man shows In the Sixties at the Grosvenor and Matthiesen Galleries. His work is to be found in the Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Council collection and various galleries around the world in America, Yugoslavia, New Zealand and Australia. But his success never stopped his continual questioning. He refused to allow one style to dominate his sculpture, even though often this alienated him from those who had supported his early work.
John was a man of integrity. lie worked intuitively and thought the real core of his work to be the tension and stress caused by the physical pushing of metal to the limits of balance and stability. He also believed in something beautiful and perfectly complete.
I remember his telling me once how he had been given a commission and had designed a massive piece  —  tall plates of stainless steel bolted to a cradle of tubes and rods, the whole thing standing over thirty feet high. Because it was for a very public site, structural engineers were brought in to calculate its stability, especially in exceptionally high winds. All agreed that mathematically it was perfect. For John it was the simplest demonstration of how and why art went to the root of everything.
He was also a wonderful teacher successively head of sculpture at the Bath Academy in Corsham, head of painting at Winchester, visiting lecturer at Newcastle, and finally Professor of Fine Art at the University of Leicester.
His body is buried on a hillside in Wales, but his spirit is somewhere in a more perfect space.


Michael Milburn-Foster

John Hoskin.
born September 8, 1921;
died  April 2 1990.
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