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Bryan Wynter


Bryan Wynter was born in London on 8 September 1915. He studied at the Slade School between 1938 and 1940. A conscientious objector during the war, Wynter worked on the land around Oxford as well as assisting Solly Zuckermanís research at the Department of Primates, Oxford University. Depressed by his menial work and his involvement with Zuckermanís vivisection experiments, Wynter moved to St Ives in 1945.

He settled at the Carn, Zennor, a run-down rustic cottage on the harsh moors of the northern Cornish coast. On arriving in Cornwall, Wynter immediately immersed himself in the natural environment, pursuing activities such as walking, climbing, canoeing and swimming. This deep involvement with landscape and natural process would remain with him throughout his life.

Wynter involved himself with the artistic community in Cornwall, and in 1946 he co-founded the Crypt Group, so-called because they exhibited (in 1946 and 48) in the basement of the deconsecrated Marinerís Church, beneath the St Ives Society of Artists. He later became a member of the Penwith Society of Artists.

Wynter worked on small-scale gouaches during the 1940s, his first solo exhibition taking place at the Redfern Gallery, London, in 1947. He married Susan Letherbridge in 1949 and between 1951 and 1956 taught at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham. Wynter took advantage of a legacy to give up teaching in 1956 and rented a studio in London for ten months. It was during this period that Wynter began his first non-figurative paintings, perhaps influenced by the show of American Abstract Expressionism at the Tate. In 1959 he married Monica
Harman. In 1960 he began to translate his concerns into three-dimensions, creating his IMOOS (Images Moving Out Onto Space). These kinetic constructions did not replace Wynter's two-dimensional work, but rather can be seen as an extension of it.

Wynter suffered a heart attack in 1961 and in 1964 moved off the moors to Treverven at St Buryan, a village between Penzance and Lands End. He continued to create art until shortly before his death in Penzance on 11 February 1975.