Denis Curry



From school Denis Curry studied the initial course in Architecture at Durham University. He enlisted in the Royal Engineers July 1939, serving in N. Africa and Italy until 1945.

1946-1950 he studied at the Slade School, London, where he won many prizes in drawing, painting and sculpture. Tutors included Moore, Butler, Spencer, Coldstream and Gerrard who described him as “one of the most outstanding thinkers since Leonardo.”
He worked for some years with Prof. Gerrard on many commissions including design and carving of Greek tombs in Hendon Cemetery and the summer house at Chartwell, before becoming Head of Sculpture at Exeter College of Art in 1959. During his time there he began constructing his human powered ornithopter. 1961 he joined the staff at West of England College of Art where he helped with the reconstruction of courses to gain the Diploma. He became Head of Foundation Studies in 1962. In 1975 he read his paper on “The Propulsion of a Variable Geometry Ornithopter” at the Royal Aeronautical Society after his prototype succeeded with propulsion from rest by means of the wing movement, a world first, and was elected an Associate of the R.Ae.S.,

In 1976, Denis Curry moved to West Wales to develop his work in sculpture painting and the ornithopter. He has exhibited widely including London Group, R.A., Bristol, Harrowgate, Cardiff, R.C.A., and Pembrokeshire. His most recent shows have included Tenby Museum and Art Gallery 2011,- painting and sculpture, and mid Wales 2012 - where he showed the prototype ornithopter which he sees as a work of the art/science interface.

“In his paintings and sculpture there is also a quality of brilliance. I do not mean simply the use of light and shade, of sunlight , nor the sensitivity to the structural use of light playing on bronze, nor the expertise of a skilled craftsman, although there is all that too. It is more than that, as if the life of the animal emanates from within the work itself, permeating our experience of looking.” Alistair Crawford. University of Wales.

“Curry is one of those rare artists who adopt a scrupulously analytical approach to the world yet produce works at the same time aesthetically satisfying.” David Buckman, author.


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