NIGEL TEMPLE – INTRODUCTION: story
“ all activities were concerned with the identification and assimilation of many diverse fragments, searched for or encountered by chance, and reconstructed to give them a new meaning” New Ashgate Gallery 2004
Temple was a unique, meticulous and highly dedicated man in persistent pursuit of perfection. His achievements and creative output in a variety of fields were fuelled by a combination of extraordinary talents, a photographic memory and an extraordinary artistic vision.
His achievements are nationally recognised with a substantial obituary in the Independent in November 2003. An entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is planned as further evidence of his status.
An undaunted and driven collector he created several astonishing collections now significant nationally. His affectionate but determined amassing of postcards, early books and historic material – postcards, books, documents, maps and drawings, all relating to British designed landscape, garden and architecture – could be said to testify to Temple’s instinctive enlargement of knowledge.
During Nigel’s lifetime he gifted most collections to selected places, his aim to secure and preserve their future and make accessible for public enjoyment, research and other fascinating uses today.
He was also prolific writer. All books and articles were immaculately presented and painstakingly researched and compiled. During the preparation of his first books to be published he discovered photography as an invaluable means of recording landscapes and buildings. This interest in turn fed in to the making of collage and small assemblage for which he had a deep understanding of the materials and processes that he used.