William Fairbank studied Sculpture at Ravensbourne College of Art, and was taught by the eminent cabinet-maker and designer, David Jesse Jones. William ran his own carpentry and joinery business for many years and became experienced in woodcarving and veneering.The Forest Stations surpass any of his previous work.
The sculptor was involved in a car accident in 1987 in which he received a serious brain injury. As part of a course in occupational therapy, he started work on the first station of the cross. Not born of any of the usual motives for making such monumental works - not commissioned, not fired by zeal or doctrine - he set out to find himself through working in wood. The fact that the stations are a practiced sequence meant that he could concentrate on developing and communicating ideas as each station led to the next. There followed seven years of work, leading to fifteen sculptures comprising The Forest Stations
Exhibitions of the Forest Stations led to Commissions including the The Heart of Yew, Ribbon of Life for New Malden Methodist Church and the Dove. He built the three Time Line sculptures to enter for the Turner Prize 2000 fine art competition.
William films all his work and following on from The Forest Way, filmed by www.worldvideoproductions.co.uk he has made films of the building of the Ribbon of Life (30 mins), The Dove (30 mins) and the Turner Prize TIME LINE sculptures, One Thousand Million BC (7mins), AD0BC (8mins) and 2000AD (10 mins). His latest film, Heart of Yew (10mins) is of the building of The Heart of Yew commission. This film, as with Time Line, are speeded up films of the building of these sculptures with little talking but very high quality background music. These speeded up films are all great fun to watch!
Head On is his most ambitious film project so far and is about life after serious head injury. Fourteen people were interviewed in New Zealand in January and February 2001, including Sir Tim Wallis, Patron of the New Zealand Brain Injury Association, who starts the film with the statement, 'Don't let what you can not do stop you from doing what you can do!' Check out Comments on the Head On film.
William Fairbank’s CV
ART STUDIES: Batik at Goldsmiths College. Sculpture at Ravensbourne College of Art. Cabinet making and design with David Jesse Jones.
OTHER QUALIFICATIONS: Massage Training Institute Diploma.
BUSINESS: Sculptor, Carpenter, Joiner and Boat Builder since 1974.
LANGUAGES: English and French.
COUNTRIES WORKED IN: Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, India and France.
FIRST EXHIBITION: Norwich Cathedral 1998.
CAR ACCIDENT: 1987
MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS: The increasing world shortage of quality timbers.
AMBITIONS: To encourage discussions on the world we are leaving for future generations.