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Jonathon Coudrille

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Jonathon Coudrille
Jonathon Coudrille

Jonathon Xavier Coudrille (born Jonathan Coudrill)[1] is an English artist, musician and writer. Born in November 1945 in Cadgwith, Cornwall,[1] he lived from a young age on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, an area with which he is still closely associated. His father was the artist and ventriloquist Francis Coudrill. In 2011 he founded the Lizard Stuckists.[2]


With notable contributions in a number of fields, Jonathon Coudrille can be described as a polymath.


After attending the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe from 1957 to 1961,[3] Coudrille started out in broadcasting at the age of 17, appearing as a political satirist on both BBC Plymouth and the local commercial station Westward Television, which gave him his own show entitled Young Tomorrow. He also worked on BBC Radio's Today programme, under the aegis of Jack de Manio. He continued with musical political satire when he moved from the BBC to Southern Television, where he was given a Monday news magazine slot, and was later the station's musical director for a period.[4] However, his career in broadcasting was abruptly cut short by a car accident in 1972, which temporarily crippled him with spinal damage.


Coudrille studied painting with the leading English surrealist John Tunnard at the Penzance School of Art, where Tunnard taught from 1945 to 1965.

During the 1990s, Coudrille exhibited at the Royal Academy in London and the South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts in Exeter.[4] In 2004, during the Liverpool Biennial, his work was included in The Stuckists Punk Victorian show at the Walker Art Gallery.[5]

Some of his recent work, most notably the photographic montage Analogue of Surreal Nostalgia (2005), is in the permanent collection of Falmouth Art Gallery.[6][7]

Coudrille was interviewed about his life and paintings for the programme John Nettles' Westcountry, broadcast by the Artsworld channel, now known as Sky Arts.[8]


Coudrille is also a multi-instrumentalist; he plays and composes for guitar, seven-string banjo, piano, organ and trumpet. His musical interests and influences are principally jazz, Russian and gypsy music.[9]

During the 1960s, Coudrille played in Soho strip-clubs. During his broadcasting career, he composed and arranged for television and radio; his guitar performance and arrangement of Francisco Tárrega's Recuerdos de la Alhambra was the signature tune for Jack Hargreaves' long-running Out of Town. He entered the Melody Maker's national folk contest in 1974, and was named top rock-folk soloist.[4] Later, at the peak of his musical career during the 1980s, he performed his composition Caballeta Suite for Spanish guitar in concert with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

He is currently a member of the Cornish semi-acoustic jazz band, Gwelhellin Goth,[10][11] and the Russian folk-music duo, Muzika Muzikantov.


Coudrille took up the writing and illustration of children's books as a form of occupational therapy, while recovering from spinal damage. This unexpected turn of events led to him becoming an award-winning author and illustrator.

The illustrated alphabet A Beastly Collection was published in 1974 by Frederick Warne & Co, the publishers of Beatrix Potter.[12] The book received critical acclaim, and was compared to the work of John Tenniel.

His second book Farmer Fisher (1975) was a best seller, winning the UK Children's Book of The Year award in 1976.[13] Farmer Fisher is thought to have been the first picture book on the UK market to include a record (7-inch vinyl disc).[13] It was republished in 1978 by Puffin Books,[14] and in 2010 by Footsteps Press.[15]


  1. ^ a b FreeBMD England and Wales Births, Marriages and Deaths
  2. ^ "Stuckist groups", Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  3. ^ Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe - School Lists for 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1960 "RGS High Wycombe Records".
  4. ^ a b c "Surrealism on the edge". Cornwall Today. 17 March 2011. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
  5. ^ "'The Fallen Angel I: The Futile Descent', Jonathon Coudrille". Walker Art Gallery.
  6. ^ "Jonathon Xavier Coudrille – Analogue of Surreal Nostalgia". Falmouth Art Gallery. 2005.
  7. ^ "Masters of Photography". Falmouth Art Gallery. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  8. ^ "John Nettles' Westcountry: Part 3 – Nettles in the Dark". Sky Arts. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012.
  9. ^ "JX Coudrille's Page - yoodoomusic". 13 March 2012. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  10. ^ "GWELHELLIN! « From Bad Provincial Boy to Square Danse-Macabre via Jazzz-Hattt". 7 February 2011. Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  11. ^ "GWELHELLIN GOTH | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  12. ^ Coudrille, Jonathon (1975). A Beastly Collection. Frederick Warne & Co. ISBN 0-7232-1757-2.
  13. ^ a b Coudrille, Jonathon (1976). Farmer Fisher (1st ed.). G.Whizzard Publications Ltd. ISBN 0-903387-03-4.
  14. ^ Coudrille, Jonathon (1978). Farmer Fisher (2nd ed.). Puffin Books. ISBN 0-14-050237-8.
  15. ^ Coudrille, Jonathon (2010). Farmer Fisher (3rd ed.). Footsteps Press. ISBN 978-0-9566349-0-0.
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