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John Brunsdon (1933 - 2014)

John Brunsdon (1933- 2014) was born in Cheltenham, Gloucester, in 1933. He went to Cheltenham Grammar School where his Art Master was George Ryland, and afterwards to Cheltenham College of Art.

In a 1995 film of Brunsdon about his career and work, he says that stumbled into print making after choosing to specialise in graphic Art at college, and that in that department was a printing press. From that moment, Brunsdon was hooked. He worked for several years as a print technician at the Digswell Arts Trust, Hertfordshire. This gave him huge experience of the process of printing and also the chance to print the work of other artists. He was appreciative of the works of his contemporaries, particularly Julian Trevelyan – who was head of the etching department at the Royal College of Art in 1955. Other tutors at the time included Alistair Grant and Edward Bawden.

Brunsdon enjoyed exploring the majestic quality of the landscape and man’s influence on it, how he ‘scratches a living on it’. He has produced some stunning Welsh landscapes, where he went on holiday with his family in the mid 60’s. By this time he was an established teacher with a printing department in his own right, and is exhibiting widely.

Throughout the 70’s and 80’s Brundon travels more widely around the U.K., which is reflected in his work. Cumbria, Dorset, Suffolk and Norfolk when he moves to Suffolk in the late 1970’s creating the challenges of working with flat landscapes. In 1989 he went on a working holiday to Lyme Regis, where ‘The Cobb’ is situated.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s he made studies of some of the iconic British heritage sites, including churches and country houses. My mum bought one of his prints of Ely Cathedral on holiday there when I was much younger. It is still on her wall now, and still catches my attention as I go by, with his signature skeleton trees. His work is much loved and collected. It is in the collections of the Tate, the Arts Council, the Government art collection, the V&A, MOMA (NY) and many private collections.