Born in Belfast in 1959, John works in multi-media and performance with a background in public art. He attended the Art College in Belfast and then The Slade School in London after which he developed a body of work through performance culminating with his stint as Director of “The Border Interpretative Centre” (2000), a short lived visitor centre and gift shop on the main Dublin / Belfast Road. His video “Would you die for Ireland” (2002) initially presented in Kilmainham Gaol, involved the mic-weilding artist putting the emotive question to passers by on the streets of Dublin, Cork and Belfast. Those confronted also included members of the Defence Forces, Gardaí, The Orange Order and the then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Since returning to Ireland in the mid nineties he has completed a number of other high profile projects including, “Dublin’s Last Supper” a large permanent photo work on enamel panels (‘Italian Quarter’2004) “Misneach” a huge plinth-mounted bronze Equestrian Monument based on the Gough Memorial incorporating a local teenage girl in a tracksuit (Trinity Comprehensive, Ballymun 2010) and “Casting Light” a spectacular durational architectural video projection onto the façade of the Ulster Bank in Cavan (2010 / 11) “Good Works”(2012/ 13) saw a return to performance with this collaborative piece with choirs (singing 9 ‘Art Hymns’ composed by the artist) readers and other performers in Cavan Cathedral and subsequently performed in the chapel at IMMA.
John has exhibited extensively in Ireland and abroad. He lives and works in Dublin and was elected to Aosdána in March 2015