John Wonnacott

After lunch, I joined a discussion at the Focal Point Gallery in Southend-on- Sea about the work of John Wonnacott, whose excellent exhibition The Estuary is on for another month.

John spoke at length about his work The Family which took eleven years of close concentration from 1963, when he graduated from the Slade, to 1974, when he finished it – eleven years of focus on issues of depiction and perspective.

I hadn’t registered the extent of the influence of Michael Andrews, who taught him at the Slade, whose Colony Room, is a comparably ambitious pictorial composition, and who later got him to teach in Norwich.

Here he is in Self Portrait with White Ruler:-

This is his back view:-

I had discouraged him from including Hanging Goose Day, but it’s a wonderful sacrificial picture of a goose sold by his local butcher:-

I liked the picture lightly greased by cooking fat (ageing and a bit of dirt isn’t bad for a picture):-

And when we walked out, there was a Wonnacott sky:-


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