Suffolk sculptor John Green’s life and artistic works remembered by friends and pupils

Suffolk sculptor John Green, who has passed away aged 85. Picture: SUBMITTED

Suffolk sculptor John Green, who has passed away aged 85. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Fellow artists and relatives have come together to remember the life and career of a Suffolk sculptor whose passion for his craft has been immortalised in churches across Britain.

John Green, who died in June aged 85, was born in Cemetery Lane, Ipswich, in 1932. His parents were well-known stonemason and footballer Alfred John Green and Phyllis May.

It was in Ipswich that he first developed a passion for art – after attending St Joseph’s College he went on to complete an apprenticeship in the town with a Suffolk stonemason.

A few years later, he achieved a first-class diploma in sculpture at the Ipswich School of Art. He taught part-time at the school after completing a second diploma – again first class – in stone carving at the Royal College of Art in London.

It was here, his third wife Pamela Gover said, that he earned a silver medal in letter cutting.

The 85-year-old, who now lives in Gloucestershire, described Mr Green as having “something particularly special” about him.

“He was a great friend and even though we separated we remained in contact. In his last few years we spent a lot of time together and his greatest passion was his sculpture. There was always something particularly special about him. Most of John’s work involved restoring monuments at churches. From what I can remember, he worked on projects in Hertfordshire, at the old Witham shopping centre in Essex and in the south of England.

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“There was also a copper slate at the Ipswich Civic Centre in the bottom foyer. I think perhaps the most recent one or at least one that people will remember is the Cranes Tableau.

“John worked on this and it’s now in a garden in Upper Orwell Street – it was made to represent 50 years since the Cranes business had been in Ipswich.”

Pupils and fellow artists from his time as a teacher at the Orton Trust and as director of monument conservation at Croydon College will also remember him, Ms Gover added.

She said: “He was a brilliant tutor because of how much passion he had to go along with the talent. I am sure many people will have fond memories of him.”

Mr Green also showcased some of his solo work at prestigious London galleries in the 1970s.

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