WOOD, John Norris

1930 - 2015

John Norris Wood

Born in London on 29 November 1930, son of Wilfrid Burton Wood (28 December 1883-1963), the eminent physician, and his wife Lucy née Boston, and grew up in Shalford Green, near Braintree, Essex. Educated at Bryanston School, being influenced by the art master, Charles Handley-Read (1916-1971) who, in turn, introduced him to Edward Bawden (1903-1989). Bawden invited him to dinner at Great Bardfield, Essex, gave him some lessons, and allowed him to use his studio as long as he didn’t speak. He studied at Goldsmiths’ College School of Art, under Clive Gardiner (1891-1960) and teachers who included Sam Rabin (1903-1991), Adrian Ryan [q.v.] and Betty Swanwick (1915-1989) and then went on to the Royal College of Art, where his teachers included Edward Ardizzone [q.v.], John Minton (1917-1957) and, most significantly, Edward Bawden; while there he won a silver medal for zoological drawing. During the late 1950s he spent periods at the East Anglian School of Painting and Design at Benton End, Hadleigh, Suffolk. Wood taught at Goldsmiths’ 1956-1968, Cambridge School of Art 1959-1970 and Hornsey College of Art and in 1971 he returned to the Royal College of Art becoming a Fellow in 1980. In 1962 Wood married the designer, Julie Corsellis Grant, daughter of designer, Richard Guyatt (1914-2007) and they lived at Garretts, Shalford, Essex and had two children. Wood became a freelance artist and illustrator, working for a variety of book and magazine publishers in Britain and America. His series for children, ‘Nature Hide and Seek’, which he wrote and co-illustrated with Kevin Dean, was designated best children’s books of the year by the US Association for the Advancement of Science also writing and broadcasting for television on a number of natural history subjects. Wood has exhibited widely in London and the provinces, and also internationally. His solo shows include those at the Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden 2001, the Chappel Galleries, Colchester 2002 and the Museum of Zoology, University of Cambridge 2004. A member of the Society of Wildlife Artists in 1997 and also a member of the Society of Authors and the Thomas Hardy Society. He latterly lived Wadhurst, East Sussex and he died 17 October 2015.

Works by This Artist