John was born and grew up in in Barnsley, where he studied a Foundation Course in Art and design. He then went on to study at Central School of Arts and Crafts, which is now known as Central St Martins, to study fine art painting from 1974 - 1977. He took a year out then studied for an MA at the Royal College of Art where he continued to develop his practice as a painter.
John moved from London to Sudbury six years ago and was invited to take part in the CO10 Collective exhibition last year. The group had lots of ideas for the exhibition to start with, with different artists in mind. They had several meetings to plan the exhibition, involving lots of food and wine!
John explained a little about his inspiration and process.
“With all of my pieces, I start with a drawing in my sketch book, but then when I actually start to make the print it takes on its own life. The printmaking technique often determines how the image evolves.
I have always used vibrant colours, it is just natural. I sometimes say to myself I’ll use pastel shades but once I get going, I think oh I will get the magenta out and the ultra-marine green. I always use bright colours.
A lot of times I get ideas from plant forms, I sometimes go out into the landscape to make sketches and make drawings of plants around the house and then I play with the drawings, turning them around and things emerge. I make several drawings to find lines and shapes and these become the starting point of the print making process. It’s an endless process really.
The titles come at the end of my process, and are inspired by the shapes and lines. I only give my work titles if they are in an exhibition.
When asked about his experience of exhibiting a Mill Tye Gallery for the first time John said,
“Seeing my work in the exhibition gives it a different perspective because its alongside other artists work. It’s been a great experience.
I enjoyed the opening, seeing so many people in the gallery. It was quite satisfying.
One of the best things has been meeting Peter. He is so enthusiastic and positive and the exhibition space is so lovely and well designed. The framing also looks really professional and the peaces are well hung.
Before the exhibition I could not imagine what it would look like. Now I can see it, it works really well and it’s not just the hanging, there is something more about it that holds everything together.
I have come to the conclusion that it is the lines. If you look at all the work the lines are really important. You can see them in the pots and the prints and the life drawings.
To see the exhibition and meet John pop into Mill Tye Gallery on Sunday 19th May between 11.00am - 4.00pm