June Berry was born in 1924 in Melbourne in Derbyshire, the home of her grandparents. She then lived with her parents in Solihull, Birmingham until the
sudden death of her father when she was four, when with her mother she returned to live with her grandparents in Melbourne. The following few years are
remembered vividly as being happy, sheltered and secure. In 1931, her mother remarried, and she went to live with her step-father in Boston, Lincolnshire
where the landscape seemed endlessly flat and full of dykes, bleak and inhospitable, a complete contrast to her grandparents' home among trees with its
garden sloping down to a lake with swans.
1942 Slade School of Fine Art, which was evacuated to Oxford for the duration of the war.
1943-6 War service in the WRNS, code breaking in an out-station of Bletchley Park.
1946-8 Returned to the Slade School, by then transferred back to London.
1948-9 Postgraduate year at the Slade.
1954 Married ceramic artist John Berry.
They settled in Sydenham in south-east London where they brought up their family of four children.
Part-time teaching in various London art schools including Sir John Cass, Wimbledon and Croydon.
1973 Bought a derelict farmhouse in the hamlet of La Bontellerie in the Department of Les Deux Sevres, France.
1984 After her children had flown the nest, moved to Beckenham. She now works in her loft studio in Beckenham and, for about four months of the year, in her studio in France.
"As with many English women artists - Mary Potter, Elizabeth Vellacott and Mary Newcomb among them - June Berry's career as an artist went on hold while she raised a family, and was only allowed to develop once her children had left the nest. Like those other women artists, though, the time has allowed her plenty of time to observe, remember and assimilate her experiences, as well as giving to the paintings that sense of layered memory. Not surprisingly, most of the personalities peopling her landscapes are middle-aged or older, even if incidents such as a rendez-vous in the park or a lovers' tiff might seem more characteristic of a younger age-group." Reproduced by kind permission. Copyright © Nicholas Usherwood.
Copyright © June Berry 2016. Page updated 10th October 2016.