56 Group Wales:The Founders

David Tinker (1924 - 2000)


Trevor Bates

David Tinker was born in Charlton, South London, on 4 December 1924. His father was a naval engineer and his mother a skilled embroideress. He was educated in Rochester, Kent and then in Hampshire.

There followed a brief period at Bath School of Art before being called up for wartime service as a Sub-Lieutenant in RNVR (1942-46). He went on to study at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1946-49).

In 1949, David Tinker was appointed lecturer at Cardiff College of Art, where his students included the painters Ivor Davies and Glyn Jones and the actors Sir Anthony Hopkins and Siân Phillips. Tinker was a sculptor and stage designer but it was his figurative and later abstract paintings that he largely employed to express his energetic artistic creativity.

Tinker contributed to numerous 56 Group and 56 Group Wales shows exhibiting in France, Germany, Holland, and the USA. He undertook several public commissions and designed stage sets for the Welsh National Opera and plays by Saunders Lewis.

Tinker moved to Aberystwyth in 1962 when he was appointed lecturer and subsequently director at the University College of Wales's art department there.

David Tinker retired from the University at Aberystwyth in 1986 and moved back to Cardiff. There he continued to paint, sculpt and exhibit with new vigour with both the 56 Group Wales and the Welsh Group, having become treasurer of the former and chairman of the latter. He was still a member of both groups at the time of his death on 25 August 2000.

David Tinker's works can be found in the following collections:-

Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales, Cardiff; Contemporary Art Society for Wales; National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth; North Wales Arts Society; School of Art Gallery and Museum, Aberystwyth University; University of Wales Trinity Saint David; other public and private collections.