Professor Brian Thompson was born in 1950 in Tingley, West Yorkshire. He graduated from The University of Newcastle in 1975 with an MFA in Sculpture. He has been awarded numerous prizes including: the Pernod and the Peter Stuyvesant Art Prize. His work has been seen through exhibitions, collections and lectures in Europe, Australia, USA and Asia including: The Condition of Sculpture, Hayward Gallery London; The Paris Biennale; The British Art Show; Sculpture Trails Museum, Indiana; Museum of Steel Sculpture, Ironbridge; House of the Artist Moscow; The Guandong Museum of Art, China and The Kakimori Bunko, Itami, Japan. He was a pioneer of practice-based doctorates in Art & Design being director of studies for one of the first PhDs in Sculpture in 1992. He was Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Resources and External Engagement at the University of Sunderland where he was a founder member of the Walking, Art, Landskip and Knowledge research group. Since 2013 he has held the award of Professor Emeritus.
His work is topographical in nature and brings together two themes; a physical engagement with landscapes through walking and invention in the craft of making sculptures and prints. A current concern is how we map, record and value landscape through notions of the “picturesque” and through revisiting the methodologies of the Romantic Poets – which included walking. He is interested in how journeys inspire and explore landscapes, man-made or otherwise and why paths build over many generations. These journeys show the topography of the world, reveal something of its history and give insights into how we come to know and navigate our world. A significant part of the work is the approach to form and the considered use of colour, materials and associated processes. Sometimes these become ‘patterns’ for casting or constructions in materials relevant to the location such as wood, paper, iron, glass, bronze, porcelain or lead. The work serves as records, memories, souvenirs and sometimes trophies.
His studio is in North Yorkshire where he lives with his wife Jane.