Dennis Creffield (born 1931) is a British artist with work owned by major British art collections, including the Tate Gallery, Arts Council of England, the Government Art Collection, Leeds City Art Gallery, University of Leeds collection, University of Brighton collection, Swindon Art Gallery collection and others.
Early life and education
Creffield was born in London, and studied at the Borough Polytechnic under David Bomberg from 1948 to 1951, during which time he exhibited as a member of the Borough Group, which included Bomberg and fellow students Cliff Holden, Dorothy Mead, Miles Peter Richmond and Leslie Marr. He later studied at the Slade School of Art, part of the University of London from 1957 to 1961, where he won the Tonks Prize for Life Drawing and the Steer Medal for Landscape Painting. In 1961 he was first prizewinner in the John Moores Prize Exhibition, at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. In the same year he showed work in an Arts Council of Great Britain national touring exhibition, Six Young Painters. Then, in 1964, he was recommended to the University of Leeds by the eminent art theorist Herbert Read to become the Gregory Fellow in Art, a post he held from 1964 to 1966. It was whilst a Gregory Fellow that Creffield began teaching, both at the University of Leeds and Leeds College of Art, and he was subsequently to teach at various art colleges in Britain and abroad, including the University of Brighton, University for the Creative Arts and the Cyprus College of Art.
Work and commissions
In 1985, Creffield was commissioned by the Arts Council to draw every cathedral in England, a task undertaken by living in a camper van for two years. This resulted in the exhibition 'English Cathedrals' at the Hayward Gallery, London, which subsequently toured Britain (1988–1990), and a related book written by Creffield. Six of these drawings, including 'Peterborough: Approaching the West Front' and several views of Canterbury Cathedral were acquired by the Tate Gallery in 1990. A very positive review by the distinguished writer on art, Peter Fuller, of a touring exhibition of Creffield's drawings of English cathedrals appeared in the first issue of the journal, Modern Painters (then edited by Fuller, its founder), together with an essay by Roy Oxlade on their teacher, David Bomberg.
After the cathedrals of England, further series of drawings were commissioned, including the cathedrals of northern France, shown at the Albemarle Gallery in London in 1991. In 2005, Flowers Gallery, London, staged a major retrospective exhibition and published a catalogue including a foreword by novelist Howard Jacobson and a conversation between Dennis & Professor Lynda Morris. Creffield's importance as a contemporary draughtsman was also recognised in 2008 when he was included in the exhibition 'Drawn from the Collection, 400 Years of British Drawing' at Tate Britain.
- "A Lasting Legacy" (PDF). Connected. London South Bank University. 6: 11–13. Spring 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-07.
- David Buckman, Artists in Britain Since 1945 (London: Art Dictionaries Ltd., 1998) 350
- Hilary Diaper, 'The Gregory Fellowships', in Benedict Read (ed.), Herbert Read: A British Vision of World Art, (London: Lund Humphries 1993) 134
- R. Adam, 'Drawing lessons: English cathedrals drawn by Dennis Creffield', in The Architects' Journal, Vol. 12, 1988, 81
- Dennis Creffield, English Cathedrals (London: South Bank Centre, 1987)