Jan 252024
 

Sculptor Lesley I. Jervis (born Oct 1943, in Stoke-on-Trent, UK) and her then husband Bruce Robert Sherratt, an artist and art educator, lived in Jocotepec at the western end of Lake Chapala from 1968 to 1970. Prior to their arrival in Mexico, they had lived and traveled for some time in the USA.

Jervis and her husband studied at the Newcastle School of Art in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, before moving to London where they married in 1963. Jervis, the secretary of the school’s Art Sketch Club, was in a collective exhibit at the school in 1962.

When they traveled to Mexico, the couple fulfilled one of Bruce Sherratt’s youthful ambitions to explore different cultures; and it was in Mexico where Sherratt gradually established his own identity as a surrealist painter, “hypnotized by the Aztec, Mayan and Toltec mythology.”

In Jocotepec the young couple rented a huge house called “El Kiosko”, “with spectacular views of the entire lake”, set up their studio, and got to work. Sherratt describes them as “hermits”, obsessed by their work: “We were very serious, determined to develop our work and we were very ambitious.” They had relatively little connection to the Lakeside art scene of the time, though they did frequent Ramón’s bar on the plaza and got to know Jocotepec artists (Don) Shaw and John Frost.

While I’m not entirely certain, I suspect that this acrylic on canvas painting signed “L. Sherratt”, titled “Blue Nude,” which sold in 2013 at Schwenke Auctioneers in Woodbury, Connecticut, may be an example of her work:

L Sherratt. Date unknown. "Blue Nude." Credit: Schwenke Auctioneers.

L Sherratt. Date unknown. “Blue Nude.” Credit: Schwenke Auctioneers.

Lesley Sherratt and her then husband showed works at the Easter art show at Posada Ajijic in March 1970, alongside John K. Peterson, Peter Huf, Eunice Hunt, (Don) Shaw, and John Frost.

In June 1970, as Lesley Jervis Maddock (‘Maddock’ was her mother’s maiden name), her work was in a group exhibit at the Casa de la Cultura Jalisciense in Guadalajara. Other artists participating in this show, besides her husband, included Peter Paul Huf, John Frost, Mario Aluta, Daphne Aluta, Chester Vincent, Gustave Aranguren, Hector Navarro, and Willi Hartung.

The following month (July 1970) the Anglo Mexican Institute in Mexico City held a joint show of paintings by Bruce Sherratt and sculptures by ‘Maddock.’ This show in Mexico City was apparently at the encouragement of the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington.

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Several chapters of Foreign Footprints in Ajijic: Decades of Change in a Mexican Village offer more details about the history of the artistic community in Ajijic.

Sources

  • El Informador, 5 June 1970; 10 May 1971; 16 May 1971.
  • Evening Sentinel (Stoke on Trent), 21 Sep 1963, 8.
  • Guadalajara Reporter, 21 Mar 1970; 13 June 1970.
  • Justino Fernández. 1971. Catálogo de las Exposiciones de Arte en el año 1970. Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, Mexico.

Comments, corrections and additional material are welcome, whether via the comments feature or email.

  2 Responses to “Sculptor Lesley Jervis (aka Lesley Maddock, Lesley Sherratt) lived in Jocotepec 1968-1970”

  1. You’re approaching the time of my intro to Mexico. Look forward to knowing more about this couple–wish I knew how they traveled to the lake but realize that is beyond the parameters of these presentations. Enjoyed this.

    • Haha; you and me both… As you know, in these posts I’m flitting back and forth in time, following whatever takes my fancy. A huge hug from the far north, TB.

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