OBITUARY STEPHEN PROCTER
ARTIST AND TEACHER
1946-2001 A much loved artist, teacher, mentor, colleague, friend and family man has died. Head of the School of Art Glass Workshop, Stephen Procter was a man of stature who strode the campus sharing his warm, gentle personality and love of his subject and life with all with whom he came in contact. He leaves a legacy of impressive achievements through his own standing as an artist, the international reputation of the Glass Workshop and the high standing of his talented students.
Stephen established his first glass-engraving studio in 1970 in Devon overlooking the River Dart. He was fascinated with the glass medium and with light and its effects on water. These elements remained with him as the source and inspiration for his imagery through his very productive working life as an internationally renowned glass artist. His choice of materials, his imagery, his mastery of technique and his ability to imbue his work with the sensational effects of light were his hallmarks. He set high standards and demanded them of himself and his students. A sustained commitment to quality in his own practice and in his teaching characterized his contribution to the Glass Workshop, the School of Art and the University.
Journeying was important to Stephen. At various times he lived and worked in the U.K, Europe, and USA and since 1992 in Australia. Sharing his networks of contacts, he encouraged his students to see themselves as part of the global community, to see the world, meet new people, explore new horizons and understand and learn. In recent years, several trips to Asia linked exhibitions and conference activity with an important Australia Council residency in Taipei. This resulted in the establishment of academic and artistic connections in the visual arts generally. Stephen was a congenial travel companion, good humoured and generous and always considerate.
Stephen's observation of the natural landscape was another preoccupation and motivation for his glasswork, painting and prolific brush and ink drawing. In May this year in an exhibition catalogue prepared for one of his graduates, Stephen wrote: "The appointed day was magnificently clear, and the mountain revealed many unexpected surprises such as the wonderful butterflies on the wooded paths." His work often took on a dimension of spirituality a sense of the intangible. In discussion he had the ability to lift the ordinary to the realm of the extraordinary. These attributes and ideals marked him as an inspiration in the workplace and at home with his affectionate family.
At the Institution, Stephen contributed generously to policy development and management processes. He strongly supported his colleagues and was devoted to his students. He was a regular contributor to various committees, academic issues and to conferences and seminars. His work has been collected by major art museums in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. At ANU his work was commissioned for the foyer of the Innovations Building and completed in 2000.
Vale Stephen Procter. Tributes and condolences have been received from around the world. He is survived by his wife Christine and children Anna and Ben.

David Williams
Director, School of Art, ANU
August 2001

 




 

 

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