WOOD, John Norris

1930 - 2015

John Norris Wood

John Norris Wood was born in London on 29 November 1930, son of Wilfrid Burton Wood (28 December 1883-3 November 1943), the eminent physician, and his wife Lucy Heald Sutcliffe née Boston (27 April 1896-25 June 1977) who married at Ormskirk in 1929 and John grew up in Shalford Green, near Braintree, Essex. John was educated at Bryanston School, being influenced by the art master, Charles Handley-Read (1916-1971) who, in turn, introduced him to Edward Bawden. Bawden invited him to Great Bardfield, Essex, gave him some lessons allowing him to use his studio if he didn’t speak. He studied at Goldsmiths’ College School of Art, under Clive Gardiner (1891-1960) and his tutors included Sam Rabin (1903-1991), Adrian Ryan and Betty Swanwick (1915-1989) before proceeding to the Royal College of Art, where his tutors included Edward Ardizzone, John Minton (1917-1957) and, most significantly, Edward Bawden and while at the R.C.A., he won a silver medal for zoological drawing. From about 1952, he spent periods at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing at Benton End, Hadleigh, Suffolk. Wood taught at Goldsmiths’ 1956-1968, Cambridge School of Art 1959-1970 and at Hornsey College of Art and in 1971 he returned to the Royal College of Art being elected a Fellow in 1980. In 1962 Wood married the designer, Julie Corsellis Grant (Nicholls 1934-18 May 2001), 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 several natural history subjects. Wood exhibited widely in London and the provinces, and internationally. His solo shows include those at the Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden; Chappel Galleries, Colchester and the Museum of Zoology, University of Cambridge. A member of the Society of Wildlife Artists in 1997 and a member of the Society of Authors and the Thomas Hardy Society. John Norris Wood latterly lived at Wadhurst, East Sussex and died on 17 October 2015.

Works by This Artist