14 May – 12 June 2011
In the Autumn of 1950 a twenty year old arts graduate walked down the entrance steps of Leeds University College of Arts, in his home county of Yorkshire, England and launched into a career that has spanned over 60 years of continuous involvement in the arts.
Five years of classical art education dominated by rigorous study of technical arts-related processes enabled Stocks to work in a variety of creative areas from theatre design to technical illustration and as a printmaker and painter.
His working life began as a scenic artist and stage designer for an English repertory company, playing 3 monthly seasons at a variety of theatres in Scotland, England and Wales where, in his spare time, he filled countless sketch books with drawings of landscapes, seascapes and historic sites. The tour ended at the Royal Artillery Theatre, Woolwich Arsenal, London, subsequently he moved to Chelsea for the remainder of the year to live and work in the Chelsea Arts Community.
In the summer of 1953 he worked with a fellow student Trevor Bell, joining the St. Ives group of painters in Cornwall, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Peter Lanyon, in what was probably the most spectacular period of the groups history.
Stocks immigrated to Tasmania, Australia in 1956 where he had his most memorable exhibition in response to hearing his composer friend, Peter Sculthorpe’s /Fifth Continent/, the ABC’s commissioned entry for the Italia Prize. Sculthorpe and Stocks shared the same cottage in Launceston where they each conceived their respective works. Peter Sulthorpe was so enthusiastic for Stocks visual interpretation of his music that he presented the artist with the original tape recording by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Matthews, to be played at the opening of the exhibition. The show was a sell-out.
After living in Tasmania for seven years Stocks moved to Melbourne, Victoria and joined the Education Department as a lecturer in design. He maintained his position for a further ten years before retiring and moving to central Victoria in 1970. He has continued his exhibition programme of at least one major show per year.
Stocks is represented in State, municipal, university and significant private collections. He has exhibited in most Australian states, England and America and has won over 60 awards including gold, silver and bronze medals in open art competitions. Stocks is represented in central Victoria by Herons Gallery, cnr. Lyttleton and Hargraves Streets, Castlemaine.