Brinsley Tyrrell

Brinsley Tyrrell (1941)

Tyrrell was born Surrey, England . After completing his studies at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts at the University of London in 1964, in 1967 he and his wife Lillian moved to the United States. In 1972 he became a permanent member of the faculty of Kent State University, where he is now Professor Emeritus of Art. Between 1979 and 1990 Tyrrell exhibited fourteen works in the Cleveland May Show, including nine sculptures, three of which won awards. He was named Ohio Arts Council Fellow four times between 1978 and 1992. In 1992 he and his wife Lillian received together the Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio. In 1975 he and Lillian bought a house in an Ohio farmland area near Kent that became their home and studio. Much of his work in sculpture, painting, and drawing is inspired by the landscapes and natural forms in the surrounding rural countryside. In 1983 he created a monumental sculpture Waywood Walls for the Putnam Collection. The work comprises two bronze, groups approximately two feet apart. In each, waist-high walls enclose tree-stumps or sawed off trees, reaching upward that provide vertical contrast to the horizontal walls. The walls are covered with low reliefs of dried up vegetation; the mutilated tree-trunks are decorated with cord-like circles that give them a bound appearance. The result is an image of exhausted, abused nature. A tragic, lifeless landscape, that symbolizes a tragic century. Other bronze sculptures by Tyrell include the entrance gates to the Hershey Children’s Garden at the Cleveland Botanical Garden (in collaboration with the blacksmith Steve Jordan) , works at the Gund Arena and two Cleveland Rapid Transit Association stations in Cleveland, the Okasek State office Building in Akron, the Ohio Governor’s Mansion in Columbus, and Washington State Community College in Marietta, Ohio. His monumental cement and sandstone sculpture Behind the Brain Plaza at Kent State University was installed in 2000. Among many honors, in 2011 he received a Cleveland Arts Prize Lifetime Achievement Award .

Work in the collection:

11 Waywood Walls, 1983
Cornell Road and University Hospital Emergency Drive, [1983.2]

The Putnam Sculpture Collection
Case Western Reserve University
11201 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7110