John Hurford @ Broomhill
Works illustrated here have been chosen by the artist. The works shown on this page are not necessarily on display at Broomhill.
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John Hurford was born on a farm in Chulmleigh, North Devon in 1948. He went to Chulmleigh School, then Crediton Grammar School which he left at the first opportunity to work on the family farm.
At the end of the sixties he sent drawings to various magazines and got published in the counter culture press, Oz magazine, Gandalf's Garden, and International Times. Most of this early work is in the Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
He has painted ever since while working on and then running the farm, producing many paintings, first in oils, then in acrylic and illustrating children's books for British and overseas publishers (over 40).After losing his organic pig herd in the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001 decided to paint full time opening part of his house as a gallery where he has been painting successfully ever since.
His inspiration has always been the flora, fauna and landscape of his Devon farm where he still lives. He has had work in Liverpool Tate, Whitney New York, Royal Academy London as well as many solo exhibitions. His early wrk is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Growth and Decay
Johnís interest in nature started from an early age growing up on a farm in Devon. He spent his time searching the hedgerows for all kinds of creatures, creatures dead or alive, bones, nests, eggs, scrambling over the high banks that were typical to his corner of Devon. He spent hours pulling things apart to see how they worked. He also drew, he drew what he found. He drew flowers as he unfolded the petals to see how they grew. He drew fledglings in their nests, and sat for hours watching nests and sketching the adults as they flew in to feed their young. He was intrigued by the way that insects chewed leaves and flower petals, the way that maggots ate dead animals. All these imperfections made them more interesting for him to draw, and drawing is what he did all the time.
In his late teens this early interest in drawing turned into an interest in painting, first he painted in ink and coloured inks, then in oils. He now paints in acrylics on canvas, linen or wood panels and his interests are still in the growth and decay he sees around him living on the same farm where he was born.
New shoots forcing their way through dead leaves to grab the first rays of spring sunshine and those same leaves as they harden and get attacked by insects, chewed by animals, burnt by the wind and twisted by fungi.