SUDDABY, Rowland

1912 - 1972

Rowland Suddaby

Born at 8 Poucher Street, Kimberworth, Rotherham, Yorkshire on 3 January 1912, son of Rowland Suddaby, warehouseman, and his wife Harriet née Mansfield (1883-1967), who married at Rotherham in 1909. He studied at the Sheffield College of Art from 1926 from where he won a scholarship. In 1931 he went to London and the following year married at Hendon, Pixie O’Neil, finding it a struggle to make a living in his early years. His work came to the notice of art collector Rex Nan Kivell (1898-1977) and in 1935 had a successful show at Wertheim Gallery, London, followed by a series of shows from 1936 at the Redfern Gallery. He painted vigorous and atmospheric pictures in London and Cornwall in the mid to late 1930s, these paintings, both in oils and watercolours, had spontaneity and a sureness of touch which really caught the imagination of critics and collectors alike. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Suddaby with his wife, now Elizabeth (born 28 February 1909) and their daughter Joanna (born 1935), moved to James Farm Cottages, Tendring near Sudbury in the Suffolk countryside. He found the landscape and coastline of East Anglia an inspiration for the trademark pictures for which he is now most widely known. During the 1940s and 1950s Suddaby continued his still life painting which also became very popular with visitors to shows at the Leger Galleries and more locally at the Colchester Art Society, of which he was a founder member. By the early 1960s Suddaby had become increasingly interested in abstraction and started to experiment with his own work mainly in watercolour and gouache which he did not sign, but after his death a rich collection of these abstracts were uncovered, work viewed by his family and others as a very significant contribution to his life's work as an artist. He died at Sudbury in 1972. Suddaby's work was acquired by many prominent collectors and public bodies, including the V & A Museum and there are 24 examples in the Government Art Collection.

Works by This Painter