John Green

Private View 28th January 2016 6pm-8pm
Exhibition 29th January-5th March
FREE Event Dockyard Talk
Wednesday 24th February 1pm

John Green, a typical product of the raw life of Portsmouth’s city streets and its historical dockyards, creates the most exhilarating, colourful, and deeply informed paintings of a tough job as a dockyard rigger in the post-war docks.  Every image is terrifically strong, powerful and temptingly tactile.  Huge stadia like dry docks, and their equally massive resident imperial war machines are the backdrop to the everyday lives of a host of carefully choreographed groups of workers – each treated with an almost Hogarthian observation of character and trade.  Indeed the cocky, combative Old Master would be proud of his legacy.  It is the marvellous mature art of a big vibrant seaport.  In the first of 2 exhibitions of John’s enormous body of work planned for 2016 you can now see these marvellous paintings at Jack House Gallery.

John Green started his working life in the Portsmouth Dockyard in 1956 aged just 15 and throughout his 40 years there kept detailed records of dockyard life in dozens of sketchbooks which he continues to use to make his paintings and prints. John’s studio, and as importantly, John’s memory are a treasure trove and valuable archive of a very recent past.  John is a member of Art Space Portsmouth where he now works full time as an artist.

Dockyard Talk - On Wednesday 24th February we will hold an informal talk in the gallery with ex-Dockyard workers who will relate their story of life in the Dockyard starting as apprentices aged just 15 years old. These people entered the Dockyard when over 20,000 men and women worked there in the 1950s and the yard was like a huge town with it’s own pubs and barbers, canteens and payroll offices as well as the massive rigging workshops where John Green himself worked for 45 years using techniques and skills largely unchanged since Nelson’s time and trains transported men and supplies across a vast area of dry docks, engine houses and warehouses. John’s mates will give first hand accounts of the life and times of a Dockie and the impact it had on their lives and the city of Portsmouth. This is a FREE event and all are welcome to come along and take part.