Jonathon Xavier Coudrille
Jonathon Coudrille was trained as a painter, but started his career as a political satirist, song writer, and performer.
His paintings have strong associations with Surrealism as he studied with John Tunnard and the late Conroy Maddox was a personal friend. Although early works are often signed J.X.Coudrille or JXC, they are usually identified via the artist’s monogram. At the age of 18 he sold a painting to the Bank of Nova Scotia, and bought a Rolls Royce with the proceeds. His first solo exhibition was at the inaugural Harrogate Festival, and he has exhibited at the Royal Academy and the South West Academy. He has also been exhibited as a guest artist of the Stuckists. In 2004, his work was included in The Stuckists Punk Victorian show at the Walker Art Gallery during the Liverpool Biennial.
Coudrille’s books include the remarkable Psychographic Alphabet book: “A Beastly Collection” published by Frederick Warne in 1974. This extraordinary book was widely praised by critics. Indeed, it could be said to be the first truly Surreal children’s book. Copies are now much sought after as collector’s items. It was, and still is, a work of genius – a tour de force.
“A Beastly Collection” was soon followed by a number of colourful and enthusiastically received children’s books for the innovative G. Whizzard imprint, including the best selling “Farmer Fisher” (G.Whizzard, imprint of Andre Deutsch). This was the first picture book on the British market to incorporate a record. Coudrille wrote, produced, sang and played most of the instruments on this record and was chosen as 1976 Children’s Book Of The Year. Farmer Fisher has been republished in 2010 by Footsteps Press.
Farmer Fisher had a fine fat Truck. You couldn’t see the colour for the farmyard muck. In the front was a rabbit and a chicken and a duck All on the way to market.
And in the back were
The farmyard Cats,
The farmyard rats,
A pound of pears,
Billy goats in hairy coats,
And a horse (of course) and a ton of turnips
On the way to market.
The fabulous artwork is also by Jonathon Coudrille
Farmer Fisher’s money-box is empty… Farmer Fisher’s farmyard’s filled with snow. Farmer Fisher wants a winter holiday… Farmer Fisher hasn’t anywhere to go…
Farmer Fisher gets an invitation
Reads it with a twinkle in his eye…
‘Christmas won’t be meagre –
There’s a boat tonight!
Cousin Igor says we’ll catch it if we try!