Monday, 20 December 2010

John Hinchcliffe 1949 – 2010

My stepfather and earliest mentor John Hinchcliffe died early this morning. He was 61.

His death was sudden and unexpected after a short, severe illness – and is a devastating shock to all who knew and loved him.

I wrote about John in my very first post on this blog, nearly three years ago. He instilled in me from an early age the rigour and self-discipline which has proved to this day to be the fulcrum of my own artistic practice.

He taught me that there are no short cuts when it comes to producing work of lasting quality; that you have to get out there and look at what you're painting – not to just imagine it, or glance at it from a window.

His approach was tough, even brutal – particularly for a slight teenage girl who would rather have stayed indoors. But I thank him to this day for the belief he had in my potential, and the time he took to nurture it. I am grateful that I had spoken to him of my appreciation for what he did for me. I just wish I could tell him again.

John's own talents were remarkable and diverse. I cannot think of any living artist who has mastered weaving and printed textiles, ceramics, block, screen and lino print, drawing, painting and photography as he did. He excelled in each of these individual disciplines.

Here are a few links to his work. There are many others which I won't list here.

I am certain that I will write more about John in the weeks and months to come. For now, my thoughts are with my mother, with John's daughter Georgia – and the rest of his family.

(photographs: John at the Craft Study Centre in 2006, animatedly explaining an aspect of his work; John with his friend and fellow artist Mike Geary.)


Anonymous said...

So sorry to see the news. Thoughts are with you and your family.

The Wessex Reiver said...

I'm so sorry to read this Harriet. thoughts are with you.

Brian Sloan said...

Harriet, I am saddened at your loss, artist, mentor, father. His work speaks clearly to design, craft and dedication to free expression. Thank you for sharing the links to his work.

Robin & Julie Lees said...

Harriet - we heard the tragic news from your mother today. We are so very sorry for you all, but especially for your mother and for Georgia. We will write to them, of course - just wanted to send you all our sympathy. With love from Robin & Julie Lees

Tony Perrotta said...

Sorry for your loss Harriet, it's apparent he meant alot to you. I'm sure you'll carry on the way he taught you .