John Eveleigh

John Eveleigh

born 1926

Painter of landscapes, seascapes and portraits in oils and watercolour; also a fine draughtsman, sculptor and teacher.

John Eveleigh first studied at Canterbury College of Art before attending the Slade School of Fine Art, London, between 1948 and 1952. He spent time travelling around Europe, particularly Vienna, where he further developed his interest in both rural and urban subjects.

During the 1960s Eveleigh founded the New Metropole Arts Centre in Folkstone, Kent, and was its first Director between 1961 and 1967, and then again between 1971 and 1983. As Director he brought to Folkstone the works of highly regarded modern artists and sculptors including Henry Moore, Jacob Epstein, Auguste Rodin, Stanley Spencer and Paul Nash, to name but a few. During his time at the Metropole Eveleigh curated a number of exhibitions, among them notable exhibitions on J.M.W. Turner (1967) and Walter Sickert (1972). Eveligh has been a major figure in helping to establish Folkstone as a ‘tour-de-force’ in both arts exhibition and as a highly regarded destination for arts teaching. Eveleigh also moved to Australia, became a fellow of the University of Wollongong (New South Wales) and acted as Senior Lecturer in Painting at the School of Arts between 1984 and 1991. In Australia Eveleigh continued to paint and there emerged a noticeable development in his treatment of colour which became much freer and expressive.

In general, Eveleigh’s work is often loosely painted or sketched and contains a real sense of energy. Typical subjects include English landscapes, harbour scenes and seascapes in locations such as Folkstone, Romney Marsh, Cumbria, and Dymchurch. Other subjects include international scenes in Austria, Australia and Italy. He has also produced a number of incredibly charming, yet fully accomplished, charcoal sketches of portraits and circus horses.

Eveleigh is represented by British collections including Camberwell Borough Council, and New Port Council (Wales). International holders of his work include those in Africa, Australia (Sydney University), USA, Canada, among others.

(Benjamin Angwin - November 2014)