Harry Woodley

November 2009

  Saturday 14th November  to Sunday 22nd  November 2009

 The Exhibition also
 celebrated Harry’s 80th birthday

Harry Woodley was born in Hackney – London in 1929 and descends from a line of artistic ‘dabblers’. During the depression years of the 1930’s, his family moved to  Somerset where his father and grandma encouraged him to paint in watercolour, the local misty hill and moorland scenery..

 At this time he commenced his academic career in a village school on the outskirts of Cheddar. Over a period of four years he acquired a broad local accent which did him no good at all when the family moved back to London in 1937. At a new School in Islington the cockney urchins gave him hell because of his country bumpkin mode of speech until he managed to get with the approved lingo. Fortunately the artistic tuition was of a high standard and his efforts in this subject were highly encouraged.
The outbreak of war in 1939 saw his school evacuated to Cambridge and a complete destruction of home life. In some ways this was not all bad because he and many of his London  friends ended up living in a semi derelict country mansion cared for by a spinster lady. Cambridge did not escape the Blitz and some of the pyrotechnic displays provided by the enemy were recorded using vivid poster colour. He left full time education in 1943 and his artistic activities slowed down somewhat for about five years while he studied Mechanical and Electrical Engineering part time and worked as a laboratory assistant at Cambridge University.

 Seeking more remunaritive employment, he moved into the Aircraft industry for ten years during which time he married and developed a life time addiction to small boat sailing. This addiction provided inspiration for paintings of wild water and cloudscapes which were produced with even greater enthusiasm when oil paints became affordable.