Based in Ynys Môn, John has over many years, developed a deep and sustained interest in visual aspects of the natural sciences, especially geology and arboreal morphology. His work is multifaceted, encompassing painting (working on pieces of native woods), combined relief collage (using Japanese processes) and prints.
Almost uniquely amongst British printmakers, he employs techniques that combine traditional intaglio printmaking with digitally created photopolymer processes. His works explore imagery for so long exclusive to the natural sciences: They are impressions that respect – even venerate – the visual mystery at the heart of his subject matter.
This exhibition features a series of his painted wood pieces that are coloured and treat ed in response to their organic forms. Embedded within his work is a long-standing dialogue between the island cultures of Crete and Ynys Môn: works are made with Welsh material in Greece and vice-versa, often acknowledging the remarkable geological similarities of the two island and extending to the study of Greek icon painting and its relation to figuration and abstraction. The recent paintings have been painted on native woods of both islands, which are mainly from windfalls.
"The stress, layering and cracking in the printing process are analogous to processes in geology. The timeless quality of the flowing matter that created the rock creates a timeless image. Trees too, grow in response to light and environment and their form, like rocks, is created over many years. The paintings exhibited are gouache and relief collage. The organic abstraction and the ambiguous patterns and layering I am finding in the rock formations are helping my work evolve in a new direction. It is the multi- faceted possibilities in the different variations of layering and cracking within trees and rocks that manifest in the existence of nature that are inspiring this work".