John Smith’s childhood and teenage fascination with the visual image and its placement in terms of display led him into textile design, studying and gaining a First Class Honours degree in the subject at Liverpool Polytechnic. In 1986 he was awarded a Royal Society of Arts Certificate in postgraduate design for his work and contribution to Jamison Print, producing textiles for Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, Jean Muir, Nat West Bank, Betty Jackson, Johnson's, Liza Bruce and Body Map. His work was marketed world wide to clients in New York and San Francisco in the United States of America, Milan and Japan, as well as at home in the United Kingdom for the Geoff Banks’ Warehouse Collection.
His passion and interest in drawing and painting has resulted in numerous exhibitions throughout Wales, where he is now based. The Welsh television channel S4C commissioned him to create and produce a film for a series of programs exploring art animation called ‘Short shorts’. His film entitled ‘Claiming the Rainbow’ was made in Clive Walley’s studio using the unique animation rig, which enabled him to incorporate animated paint alongside traditional stop frame animation methods. He was also responsible for the audio and post production.
He has worked as Associate Producer for an independent film company ‘Gringo Productions’ on a film entitled ‘Painted Skin’, one of a series of films where the subject matter was ‘body modification’.
He has been painting and exhibiting in Wales for the last 19 years. His paintings are the backbone of all of his work, where he generate ideas and experiments with the characters. They are all created out of a need to interpret and understand information, and himself. The characters have been created through a process of simplification set in surroundings that exist, to either help or hinder;, ultimately they become a static image that explains and illustrates a moment in time, a particular feeling, or a significant event that is important and relevant.
1988 Theatre Gwynedd
1990 Oriel Mostyn Llandudno
1991 Oriel Bangor
1992 Denbigh Library Museum and Art Gallery
1992 Community Gallery Theatre Clwyd Mold
1994 Rhyl Library Museum
1995 Studio 13, Gallery Llaniloes, Powys
1998 Wrexham Library Gallery
1999 Beaumaris Leisure Centre
2000 Canolfan Ucheldre, Holyhead
2001 Rhyl Library Museum and Gallery
2003 Oriel Ynys Mon Llangefni
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