An exhibition of lino prints by John Hinchcliffe MA RCA 1949-2010


Throughout his career as an eminent artist/designer, John Hinchcliffe cut and printed lino blocks, a method of expression that suited his bold and simple style. He often used lino blocks to hand print textiles but latterly he became progressively more interested in illustration.

At the time of the millennium Hinchcliffe designed and cut a series featuring decorative images relating to Dorset entitled ‘Decorative Dorset’. Images included Gold Hill (Shaftesbury), The Cerne Giant (Cerne Abbas) and Kingston Lacy (Wimborne). He contributed some of the images to the charity Common Ground for their publication ‘England in Particular’ (Sue Clifford and Angela King, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd., 2006).

In the last quarter of 2010, Hinchcliffe illustrated the weekly ‘Countryman’ column by the late John Humphries in ‘Country Life’ Magazine.

The illustrations in this exhibition, which form the ‘Months of the Year’ collection, were produced as chapter illustrations for ‘The Country Diaries’ (Alan Taylor, Canongate, 2010). Hinchcliffe had intended to edition the prints but died unexpectedly aged 61 in December 2010 (obituary The Daily Telegraph January 2011).

In 2012 I approached the Curwen Studio with my mother, Wendy Barber, to edition Hinchcliffe’s work as he’d intended. We wanted to keep the marks and lines made by Hinchcliffe’s tools in the lino so lithographic printing, where the lino block is printed directly onto film and then directly onto a lithographic plate, was the ideal method.

The editions were hand printed by the small team at the Curwen Studio. The Somerset velvet paper was then hand torn to dimension and stamped with an embossed stamp for both the John Hinchcliffe and Curwen Studio. All materials used are of archival standard. The edition is limited to 100 sets.

Individual prints are £75 each unframed and £115 framed.

Sets are £750 unframed or £1,230 framed.

Georgia Hinchcliffe, March 2014, Bath.


John Hinchcliffe in his words, October 2009

I am not primarily an illustrator but a designer. I was trained at Camberwell School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art and I love drawing. I often translate my drawing into lino and woodcuts, in fact relief prints that give the drawings another dimension and character. The topic of the prints is close to my heart – I have always lived and worked in the country, I do, however find that people’s perception of the countryside is very diverse. Strangely it is difficult to convey what hard work the process of turning the idea of something into a reality is, hours can go into looking for a style, the bridge, the river, a village in the downs or a suitable looking apple tree. A lot of time is spent researching, photographing and drawing. After days of looking around Dorset I found much of what I need closed to where I live in Higher Melcombe, near the Dorset Gap. The cows are drawn from the Holstein herd on the farm, as are the old farm machinery and stinging nettles, the apple tree is in our orchard. The boots and spade are a detail from an old farm building at Lyscombe and I found the old style at Fontmell Magna (and so on).

I sincerely hope that all the images reflect the countryside as it is in all its beauty and variety.

John Hinchcliffe, October 2009.