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 are included in Posters from Paddington Printshop, Four Corners Books, London, 2019.
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).
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.
His recent work responds to the ubiquity of disposable images. He employs contemporary media to create works that are intended arrest and enchant the viewer.
He was nominated for the Young Master’s Award in 2017.