Artists » Cliff Turner

Cliff Turner (South African b. 1967)

Cliff Turner was born in South Africa and immigrated to Canada with his family in 1976.  He currently lives and works in New Brunswick. He studied art at the University of Toronto earning his BFA in 1994.  In 1998 he graduated from the University of New Brunswick with high honors and a Bachelor of Education degree. Turner’s paintings have been featured in many solo and group exhibitions in galleries throughout North America.  His paintings are included in numerous important corporate, public and private collections Internationally.

“Regardless of subject matter or how it is rendered, my focus in each painting is to create light. It is the common element that creates detail in hyperrealism but also mood and emotion in more painterly work.” Cliff Turner’s technical prowess and his ability to create compelling compositions has rewarded him with successful paintings in many different styles. His cityscapes, trompe l’oeil, pop art and still life paintings all appear photographic from a distance, but as you approach them the brushwork becomes obvious and his palette choice adds a fantastical feel to the work. There’s a reverence in his painting, and though he stays close to the truth of what he sees, somehow he makes the final piece the kind of delicious that our memory creates when we feel good about something.

Lately, Cliff has been painting vibrant still lifes of flowers. Since the popularity of still life painting in the 16th century, artists have used flowers as subjects to represent reproduction, mortality and the transience of life. By nature, humans are attracted to the mystery, beauty and grace of the flower. Creatures large and small are seduced by their nectar. We plant gardens and covet the blooms of a rare and delicate species.  But until the 19th century, florals existed somewhere toward the bottom of the painting hierarchy.

In Victorian times, new standards of etiquette altered communication. Secret messages were sent in flowers; red roses indicated love, and pink roses indicated that your love should be kept a secret. But floral symbolism varied depending on context and culture. While white flowers, like daisies, often represented youth, innocence, fertility and virtue – red flowers, like roses, were symbols of passion and love.

Artist Cliff Turner creates the flower eternal, imaginably freezing a moment in time. Or perhaps these works embody the idea that everything, and nothing, changes. 

1994 Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
1998 Bachelor of Education, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB.
1998 2nd Year Photography, N.B.C.C.D., Fredericton, NB.

2011 “TECHNICOLOUR” Gallery 78, Fredericton, NB.
2009 “Paintings from Life” Handworks Gallery, Saint John, NB.
2003 “Studiostillife” Handworks Gallery, Saint John, NB.
2002 “Cityscape” Handworks Gallery, Saint John, NB.
1999 “Polaroid” Peter Buckland Gallery, Saint John, NB.
1998 “A Day at Kingsclear” ABEC, Frazee Gallery, Saint John, NB.
1992 “New Work” Hart House, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
2011 “Celebrating the Canada Winter Games”, Gallery 78, Fredericton, NB.
2010 “winter” Handworks Gallery, Saint John, NB
2008 “North of Union” Handworks Gallery, Saint John, NB
2007 “Corner Shop” Handworks Gallery, Saint John, NB
2006 “Dans Le Nuit” Handworks Gallery, Saint John, NB
2005 “Group Show” The Artery Gallery, Creiff Scotland UK
2005 Atlantic Cultural Space, International Fine Art Market Saint John
2005 Art Contact, Fredericton NB
2003 “Eastwood, Stewart, Turner” Handworks Gallery, Saint John, NB, Canada

2003 “Salmon/Turner: The Last Five Years” Saint John Arts Center, Saint John, N.B.
2003 “Still life” Andrew and Laura McCain Gallery, Florenceville, NB.
2002 “Small works” Handworks Gallery, Saint John, NB.
2001 “Salmon, Pottle, Turner” Handworks Gallery, Saint John, NB.
1999 “Screen” Peter Buckland Gallery, Saint John, N.B.
1999 “Small Works” Peter Buckland Gallery, Saint John, NB.
1999 Confederation Center of the Arts, Charlottetown, PEI.
1999 Gallery 78, Fredericton, NB.
1996 Liss Gallery, Toronto, ON.
1993 Galerie Christin, Toronto, ON.
1992 Juried Show, Justina Barnicke Gallery, Toronto, ON.

New Brunswick Art Bank
Saint John Energy
Irving Oil
Repsol LNG
Cox and Palmer
Commercial Properties
Stolen Car productions NYC

Media that have reported on, or published work by Cliff Turner include:
The Telegraph Journal, Saint John, NB
The Reader, Saint John, NB
The Times Globe, Saint John, NB
Here Magazine, Saint John, NB
CBC Saint John, NB
CTV Halifax, NS
Hart House Review, Toronto ON


University of New Brunswick, Introduction to Fine Art Education
Harbour View High School, Visual Art all grades, Saint John, NB
Saint John Arts Center, painting in oil
New Brunswick Museum, painting in oil
Jacques- Whitford, corporate instruction in creativity, Saint John NB

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