John Blackburn was born in Bedfordshire, England in 1932. He studied textile design at Maidenhead Art School in the early 1950s. After a stint in the Royal Air Force he travelled to the South Pacific, including New Zealand where he met his wife, Maude.
Now in his early 80s, Blackburn has done somewhat of a 'reverse OE' in recent years, and he and his wife now return to Mount Maunganui every summer, renting an apartment high above the water to relax, rejuvenate and as a chance for the artist to be creative. It was during these trips he was inspired to create the suite of works, In the Shadow of the Mount.
Essentially an abstract artist, Blackburn has been known to use all sorts of materials in his work: resin, house paint, grit, or varnish, typically applied to canvas laid over MDF or wooden panels.
Titled simply, Blackburn's pieces often have more to them than meets the eye.
Blackburn has had solo exhibitions and group shows in New Zealand - most recently at ARTIS - as well as internationally.
His work is held in private collections in England, France, Sweden, Ireland, England and New Zealand.