John Allcock

John Allcock pursued academic career at the University of Bradford for thirty-five years. He was a Reader in Sociology, and specialist in the study of the former Yugoslavia. In this capacity, he served as an advisor to Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons, and as an expert witness to the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.  He took early retirement from the university in 2001 to start a new career as a practising artist.

John’s primary medium is pastels (both dry and oil) although he also works with acrylic paint, mixed media and occasionally watercolour.  His subjects often connect with the natural world, although he says of this:

Although much of my work is best categorised as “landscape”, frequently it focuses upon very specific objects, such as rocks, pools or trees. The subject-matter is usually treated in a strongly representational manner, but behind these realistic depictions is always a layer of metaphorical or symbolic significance. Things are not usually what they seem on first acquaintance.



John has engaged with other subjects, however, including identity and mortality (see image immediately below from his ‘In Passing’ solo exhibition of his work at the South Square centre, Thornton, Bradford, 2013).

ALLCOCK, John. In Passing. South Square

In addition to The South Square Centre (where he is a founder member of the Unit 9 Group and collective art space) John’s solo exhibitions have included: The Toolbooth Centre in Kirkudbright,  Doncaster Minster, Blackburn Cathedral, Ripon Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral and The Station Gallery in Richmond (N. Yorks.)

His participation in group exhibitions has included: the Hull Open at the Ferens Gallery, The Great Sheffield Art Show, The Bradford Open at the Cartwright Hall, The Great North Art Show in Ripon, The Yorkshire Craft Centre, the Dean Clough Galleries, The Pastel Society (at the Mall Gallery in London) and the Alpine Club. His series of reflections on T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets has toured seven venues in the UK and a solo exhibition of his work, Presente, interpreting his experience of encountering remains of the Italian role in WW1 in the Julian Alps, was shown at Bradford Cathedral in 2018.

His work is in collections at the Bradford Royal Infirmary, Bishop Grossteste University College (Lincoln) and St. Alban’s Church at the UK Defence Academy (Shrivenham).

He has a website and writes a blog: //

You can also read John’s ‘My Art’ art statement at

(Images shown are from the artist’s website – see above)

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