The Embassy Cultural House is saddened to share the news of the passing of Tony Urquhart. We celebrate his life and work through a thoughtful contribution by ECH Advisory Member, Judith Rodger.
One of the most memorable experiences of my career was a day in 1994 that I spent with Tony Urquhart. We met in his large studio overlooking a pond at his home in Wellesley, Ontario. Our goal was to choose works on paper that would be donated to Museum London. We went through his collection of thousands of drawings from every stage of his career. Urquhart’s practice included daily drawing. Some of these drawings were worked on over days or even years. They often incorporated other media such as watercolour, oil, and collage, but always began with pen and ink. When we chose the work from 1948, Stage Coach, Tony showed me a small book, Canada’s Past in Pictures, written and illustrated with ink drawings by C. W. Jefferys. This book, given to him as a child, was the source of his interest in drawing, he explained. Later works showed the influence of his extensive travels through foreign landscapes, but many of the drawings depicted imaginary places. Still others were working drawings for his inimitable box sculptures.
Updates on the London Arts Community