John initially trained in sculpture. In 1974 he co-founded Paddington Printshop, a community arts resource creating posters with and for west London communities. The Printshop became a model for similar facilities across the UK and John became a leading figure in the Community Arts Movement, and a pioneer of socially engaged art. He designed numerous memorable posters, which were exhibited in the Whitechapel Art For Society, 1976 and The Art of Protest, 1980, at the Stedelijk.
In 1983-4, supported by the Gulbenkian Foundation and the Arts Council, he travelled in Mexico and Central America. While working at the René Portocarrero Studio in Havana John conceived the idea of a new type of organisation, with one foothold in community activism, and the other in the art market. He subsequently established London Print Workshop (now londonprintstudio).
In the 1980’s John developed a more personal art practice centred on photography with digital manipulation to ‘construct’ images.
John has curated a number of exhibitions with a particular focus on print and popular culture – music, fashion and costume, visual books, and social engagement.
John is Director of londonprintstudio where he also teaches drawing. He holds a DipAD Hons in sculpture from Sheffield Polytechnic, and a PhD in Fine Art from the University of Brighton.
His work is held in a number of collections including V&A, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, and Rhode Island School of Design Museum.
He was nominated for the Young Master’s Award in 2017.
Recent solo exhibitions
Picturing Harrow Road, londonprintstudio, 2009
Fabulism: Surveying Venice, Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venice 2013
Vanitas, londonprintstudio, 2016
Vanitas from Milton’s garden, Milton’s Cottage 2017Publications: Posters From Paddington Printshop, Pub Four Corners Books, Sept 2019