Biography for John Doubleday (1947)
John Doubleday was born in Langford, near Maldon in 1947, Essex and studied sculpture at Goldsmiths College London. He has lived most of his life in this area and loves the big open skies, broad flat landscapes and estuary views typical of Essex. His international reputation is more for public sculpture, which has been a major feature of his career since the mid seventies. You may already be familiar with some of his public commissioned portraits, which comprise of a broad spectrum of famous names including: - Nelson Mandela, HRH Prince Philip, Charlie Chaplin (in Leicester Square), The Beatles (Liverpool), Dylan Thomas, Sir Laurence Olivier, Golda Meir, Graham Gooch, Sherlock Holmes and the list goes on.
This artist may be well known for his public work, but this exhibition offers a rare opportunity to explore John’s personal art works, enabling us to view the paintings, drawings and sculpture of an imaginative artist who has a lot more to offer.
John Doubleday is unafraid to experiment, showing an interest in the relationship of figure with landscape alongside the elements and our place in this world. He is particularly concerned with the lyrical female nude that sits firmly in the English tradition of a poetic contained modernism seen in Sutherland, Piper and John and Paul Nash. Sometimes one is able to see a ghost like figure kneeling or running in a landscape, suggesting both are inextricably linked. Or a mermaid sculpture in this exhibition for example, which captures a sense of the heroic, exhilaration full of life and dynamism. Again John explores our relationship with the human form, our identity, presence and soul.
More recently John spent several months in India which has had a strong influence to his vision. The mysticism of the vast and culturally rich country has added a new side to both his paintings and his sculpture.