John Addyman (1929-2006)
Whose line is it anyway?
18 February to 28 March 2013
Born in Wallasey and moved to Wales at age 10, John Addyman was an artist whose work analysed and recorded the structure of landscape and its context. His favourite medium was watercolour, but he was adept in many other media, notably ceramic. In 1996 he won the Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition. Wales and Suffolk were his particular inspirations. He was an influential teacher and prolific artist with many exhibitions in Britain and abroad.
Addyman studied illustration under John Nash, Edward Bawden and John Minton at the Royal College of Art. He returned to Wales and taught briefly at Swansea School of Art. He said that he ‘came to life visually in Wales. The impact of the coastal forms of south Wales was immediate and strong.’ In 1955, he joined the staff of Colchester School of Art, later to teach as visitor at Nottingham and Norwich as well as art history at Essex University. While he worked in clay, making large ceramic panels based on Welsh rockscapes, he did not consider himself a potter, but rather someone ‘drawing in clay’.
In 1989, Addyman returned to live and work in west Wales. Drawing remained for him ‘the distribution of space and the edge of an area of colour’ that can have a ‘life of its own, like a piece of music’. He once wrote ‘I put my painting on to an active level rather that one of passive recording of topographical subject matter – to quote David Jones “Subject matter is everything in one sense and nothing in another.”’ The exhibition will include a retrospective survey of Addyman’s oeuvre – framed works, sketchbooks, ceramics, and found objects from his studio kindly loaned by his daughter Harriet Addyman.