Peter Thursby (1930-2011) was born in Salisbury, but brought-up in Jamaica. After National Service, he studied art at St Paul's, Cheltenham and then with Paul Feiler and Ernest Pascoe at the West of England College of Art.
Throughout the 1950s, Thursby's output was largely in the form of paintings. By 1957, his career became textural and fully abstract. From the early 1960s, his work was almost exclusively sculpture, winning his first major award in 1962.
Thursby had solo exhibitions at Plymouth Art Gallery in 1964 and the Marjorie Parr Gallery and began making sculpture from reclaimed materials.
In the 1970s, Thursby produced his Podmen Sculptures followed by the Sarum and Flight series. His monumental works, cast by the Morris Singer Foundry, came in the 1980s. Thursby gave generously of his time to art education and arts organisations, including the West of England Academy of which he was president for five years (1995-2000).
In 1995. Thursby he received an honorary doctorate from the University of the West of England in Bristol. His career culminated in his Optimism series, one of which is in the Queen's Collection. His legacy was a body of work that is widely recognised as a significant contribution to 20th century sculpture.