Bill Culbert

Culbert portraitBill Culbert was born in Port Chalmers, New Zealand in 1935. In 1957 he received a scholarship to study painting at the Royal College of Art in London. He quickly moved from painting to an interest in light as the subject and protagonist in his work, which has become characteristically environmental, installational or photographic. Bill Culbert makes and shows his work in many countries around the world and divides his time between his studios in London and the South of France. He also makes regular trips to New Zealand where he has worked on a number of significant projects with Ralph Hotere including ‘Fault’ at the City Gallery in Wellington and ‘Blackwater’ 1999 which is now in the collection of Te Papa. Frequently Culbert utilises fluorescent tubes and electric cable to create his work that only comes alive when it is switched on. His touch as an artist is light and he often uses qualities inherent in found objects such as plastic bottles, suitcases, light bulbs, lampshades which he looks out for wherever he is working.

The lithographs by Bill Culbert featured on this site all relate to an exhibition of light works called ‘Halflight’ originally shown at the Gitte Weise Gallery in Sydney, 2001. Each work is a mixture of electric cable and either a flourescent tube or light bulb. The photograph on the lower right is an installation shot f that show. The lithographs operate as concept drawings of the sculptures.