Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Patrick James Woodroffe was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire in 1940, the son of an electrical engineer. He graduated in French and German at the University of Leeds before an exhibition of his pen and ink drawings selected by surrealist Roland Renrose was staged at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 1966. He taught before became a full time artist in 1972, in which year he exhibited his paintings and etchings at the Covent Garden Gallery, London.
His career was boosted when he became a paperback cover illustrator, producing some 90 covers for Corgi Books in 1973-76, many of them in the fantasy and science fiction genres, including novels and collections by Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Jack Vance, Mike Moorcock, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein and Brian M. Stableford. In the mid-1970s, he also produced record sleeve covers ranging from Beethoven's Emperor Concerto to Judas Priest's Sad Wings of Destiny. His painting for Dave Greenslade's Time and Tide led to further collaborations, Greenslade producing a double album of music, The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony, which was accompanied by a series of paintings by Woodroffe based on the opening chapters of Genesis. The book was expanded as The Second Earth in 1988.
Woodroffe also collaborated with Mike Batt (better known as the leader of the Wombles pop group) on a musical based on Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark, also released as an album in 1984.
Woodroffe was involved in conceptual deigns for the movie The NeverEnding Story II (1990). He also designed the stage play La Belle et la Bete, performed in Le Havre, France, in 1994, and designed for bronze sculptures that have been cast and installed at the entrance of Le Château de Gruyères in Fribourg, Switzerland.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Woodroffe exhibited widely in France, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and elsewhere. He continues to paint and exhibit, many of his recent works combining fantasy imagery an photographs. Some of his more recent work can be seen in calendars produced by the Swiss publisher, Éditions Gruériennes.
Examples of Patrick Woodroffe's artwork can be found at the Illustration Art Gallery.