John Dyer is Cornwall's best known and best loved contemporary artist. His work is known all over the world through his many art prints, posters and exhibitions. He has a unique way of capturing the essence of his subject and his work celebrates the song of l...
John Dyer is Cornwall's best known and best loved contemporary artist. His work is known all over the world through his many art prints, posters and exhibitions. He has a unique way of capturing the essence of his subject and his work celebrates the song of life. John Dyer's work hangs in the UK's national art collections with Falmouth Art Gallery, The Eden Project, Save the Children, the National Trust and the NHS. His work brings a huge amount of joy to all who view. We are delighted to represent all of John Dyer's paintings, signed prints and art posters and also work with the artist on his global projects and exhibitions which have included work with the Tall Ships Sail Training International, Survival International, the Eden Project and NGOs in Costa Rica, the Philippines and Peru.
Painted from Flushing beach looking back towards Falmouth in Cornwall this quirky naive painting by Cornish artist John Dyer is one of his best known. People and dogs play on the beach while boats, ferries, fishing boats and swimmers float by on the river Fal. A curved composition creates a great sense of movement in this wonderful Cornish seaside print.
One of artist John Dyer's most famous paintings. The fishing boats of St Ives in Cornwall nestle in the harbour. Fishermen sit on the boats in their yellow oil skins and the artist has used chucks of colour to move our eye around the image. Cornish flags feature and seagulls swoop in from the Cornish blue sky above. A great seaside image that is full of...
John Dyer's print of Godrevy lighthouse on the north coast of Cornwall is full of energy, colour and life. Swimmers, Seals, fishing boats, dogs, yachts and seagulls fill this Cornish seascape. In the left hand corner we find a couple quietly sitting on the cliffs, a self portrait by the artist & a view he would like us to share. The blue cornish sky and...
Three Puffins sail across the deep blue sky. A perfect composition by artist John Dyer that creates a huge sense of depth and space in this classic John Dyer print. The brilliant white sands of Pentle Bay on the island of Tresco sweep away into the distance while the sea gently laps at the edge. A couple walk along the beach and a lone boat enters the...
Tresco in the Scilly Isles, has a unique combination of huge blue skies with glistening white beaches, blue agapanthus and space. In this stunning John Dyer print of Pentle Bay the artist has captured all of the key qualities of the island in his unique way. Seagulls create a sense of space and the image echoes one of John Dyer's fellow artists, John...
A Falmouth Carnival & Oyster Festival parade are captured in this print by artist John Dyer. The beautiful Falmouth Art Gallery building features & children parade past playing brass instruments and waving hand made puppets and fish. The artist himself and his family can be seen in the picture with their sausage dog who is intent on stealing a pasty ! A...
One of John Dyer's offical works for his residency for the Dawin 200 celebrations. The artist has cleverly shown Darwin's tallship the Beagle sailing into Falmouth where she originally returned to on her famous voyage. A beagle dog watches from a boat and a diverse range of bird species and fish (including mermaids!) join the party. John captures the...
If you love Cornish beaches in high summer you will love this. Windsurfers, yachts, dinghys, surfers, topless swimmers and more are depicted in this classic John Dyer picture. Painted at Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth the painting captures all the fun and colour of the summer. The print has vivid colour, a deep blue sky and is full of narrative and fun. A...
John Dyer's colourful print of Malpas on the River Fal captures in one image the vibrant colours of the river and the glorious summer flowers but also cleverly captures a moment of calm and serenity with the loving couple who share an embrace on the riverside. Vibrant summer flowers frame the lovers. The Fal River Ferry sails past and seagulls soar...
The bandstand in the Gyllyngdune Gardens in Falmouth is perfectly captured in this delightful print by Cornish artist John Dyer. John was the artist in residence for the gardens when he painted this piece. Big blousy flowers are a riot of colour and the band plays proudly from the bandstand. A perfect image of a seaside summer garden.
A deep blue night sky with twinkling stars and a blue moon over Helford Passage in Cornwall. A couple dance in the moonlight surrounded by moon daisies in this beautiful and romantic nocturne by Cornish artist John Dyer. Moonlight floods the picture with life and creates a great sense of depth. The Ferry Boat Inn can be glimpsed behind the palm trees. A...
The Mousehole Lights are a magical sight. Artist John Dyer has captured Mousehole harbour perfectly in this signed limited edition print. Stars twinkle in the night sky and fishing boats bob about in the harbour. Mermaids, seals and seagulls animate the picture and a band can be seen playing on the quay. There is lots of detail & narrative to find,...
John Dyer (born 1968 ) is one of Britain's leading and best known contemporary painters.
“Imagine if all the colour, if all the shapes, if all the emotion, if all the fun, if all the joy and if all the love you feel could be captured for a moment to remember for all time. This is the power of a painting. This is the power of a painting that captures what a place feels like.” John Dyer
John Dyer is one of the UK's most exciting and well known postmodern plein-air painters. His work is collected internationally and his paintings have been the subject of popular television programmes and a wide range of merchandise.
John's environmental work studying the ethnobotanical relationships of plants with the Eden Project has firmly placed his work at the forefront of contemporary art and he is one of the UK's best known international environmental artists, having worked with leading scientific organisations across the globe.
"There is an innocence and freshness to John Dyer's art that follows a tradition in Cornwall that includes the work of Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, Fred Yates and Bryan Pearce. Rather than trying to record what he sees, John sets out to capture the 'essence' of his subject. The 'essence' of seagulls, cats, dogs, bobbing boats, or exploding fireworks communicate far more strongly through John's brushstrokes than they would if drawn more traditionally. It is this ability to capture the 'essence' of what is important that seems to appeal to those who have shown great vision and originality in their own careers, such as Tim Smit, Alan Titchmarsh or Kim Wilde."
"John's work is pure painted joy. His pictures make you want to touch, squeeze & push your nose into flowers and breathe deeply. It's no surprise that his paintings are popular the world over. He touches a very human need for light, pattern & colour. We sense in John's paintings the sheer human thrill of being alive.."
ALAN TITCHMARSH MBE
"One of the UK's most exciting artists. It is rare to meet someone who has the same appreciation of atmosphere, colour, texture and the magic that can be created in a garden, and in John we have found someone who understands exactly what we were trying to do. Looking at your own garden through someone else's eyes is always interesting, but when the eyes belong to John Dyer then you hope that he will see something that allows him to use those vibrant colours he has on his palette."
PHILIP MOULD OBE
"The BIG Art & Storytelling Tall Ships Project is charismatic. John Dyer’s new Tall Ships painting, combined with professional storytelling, creates an irresistible hub for creativity to flourish.”
TOYAH WILLCOX - ROCK STAR
"Your fantastic paintings not only brought the apartment to life, but also put the energy of the Riviera indoors!"
THE NATIONAL TRUST
"John Dyer is one of Britain's leading and best known contemporary painters. Born in 1968 his work embraces colour and the 'Song of Life'."
TIM SMIT - FOUNDER OF THE EDEN PROJECT
"A fabulous collection which perfectly epitomises Eden."
KIM WILDE - ROCK STAR
"I have always had immense respect for anyone who chooses to take time to interpret our world for us through painting, and feel especially privileged to have hosted such an inspired artist in our back garden!"
INSIDE CORNWALL MAGAZINE
"Cornish artist John Dyer has built up an enviable reputation with a host of successful exhibitions behind him and numerous poster and print publications promoting his work worldwide. 'Cornish Safari' consolidates a reputation that is founded on his love of painting the people and places of Cornwall."
LUCY CORNES - JOURNALIST
"Walk into a room full of John Dyer's creations and you connot help but be bowled over by their sunny optimism, their colourful exuberance. They tell stories of seaside days and adventures into the natural world, of exploring our surroundings with a genuine joie de vivre. His distinct style is internationally renowned and he has travelled widely, depicting the relationship between people and their environment in places as diverse as Australia, the Philippines Costa Rica and Japan "
CHARLOTTE LUSTY - SCIENTIST
"John's pictures are all about diversity and bringing out what might pass unseen."
John Dyer has been the artist in residence for many global organisations.
Darwin 200, The Eden Project, National Trust’s St Michael’s Mount, Giardini Hanbury, SBM Monaco, Falmouth – Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta, Cutty Sark Tall Ships Regatta, Bioversity International, International Rice Research Institute, CGIAR, Gyllyngdune Gardens, Alan Titchmarsh, Kim Wilde, Tresco Estate, Banrock Station Wine Australia, BBC Gardeners’ World Live, Live 8 Concert, Girlguides Centenary, CIP Peru
A video introduction to artist John Dyer
Did you know ?
•John Dyer selected to study a degree in Design at Middlessex in London. This was so that he had the tools and knowledge to present his paintings.
•Using paint as his medium, he feels his optimism for life has been carried through his work.
•John Dyer had his work published in a feature magazine article about him when he was only eleven years old !
•Through his paintings, John hopes to convey optimism, fun, life, joy, happiness, the good things in life and the colours that pass people by.
•After being awarded a travelling bursary to Brazil from Thames Television John was inspired to use bold colours and imagery.
•John has been surrounded by artists and paintings throughout his life. His father - Ted Dyer - is a well known artist who has been painting for many years.
•Born in 1968, in Somerset. The son of two painters Ted Dyer and Vivien Dyer.
•Ted Dyer moved the family to Cornwall in 1972, and John spent his childhood in the Cornish Landscape with camera and drawing books.
•John studied for a BA Hons in Design in London and during that time travelled extensivley in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil supported by Thames Television.
•John Graduated with an honours degree and returned to Cornwall to paint and was immediatley asked by Falmouth Art School to lecture for them. John lectured part time for nine years.
•In 2000 John was made 'Painter in Residence' for the Eden Project. A position he still holds today. His ethno-botanical work is recognised internationally by many globally important organisations and he has spent time painting in Costa Rica, Italy, France and the Phillippines for the project.
•John is one of the UK's most widely published and succesfull artists.
•John's work is held in permanent collections of Eden Project, The National Trust, The Tresco Estate, Save the Children UK and many important private collections across the world.
Fun, lively and appealing to an audience worldwide, John Dyer captures the lighter side of life in his colourful paintings. Recognised for his cheerful reflections of Cornwall, John has also used the humour and laughter in his work to highlight many serious causes over the past five years. Only recently he returned from the Phillippines where he has been involved in a project to raise awareness about world poverty. John Dyer was born in Taunton in 1968 into an artistic family who inspired him to paint from an early age. He completed a Foundation Art Course at Falmouth College of Art in 1987 and went on to gain a BA Hons Degree in Graphic Design at Middlesex University in London.
"I have lived in Cornwall for most of my life and have been lucky enough to have grown up surrounded by art, artists and painting. My father, Ted Dyer, is a well known painter and it is the influence and guidance from him that has inspired me to explore my own paintings and to find my own artistic voice.
I have painted from a very young age, and decided to study formally at Falmouth Art School and Middlesex University in a range of visual arts before deciding to focus on painting. I returned to Cornwall in 1992 and have never looked back.
I have been lucky in that people have always enjoyed my paintings. I try to focus on the positive elements of life, the things that inspire me, the song of life. My work is a natural response to the world around me, contemporary, and as individual to me as my handwriting or thumb print.
I hope that I bring part of myself to the viewer through my work, and that the viewer brings an equal amount to my paintings - if this happens then I have succeeded in my aim. I hope that the sum of the two adds up to far more than I could ever know."
John Dyer is one of Cornwall's best-known artists. His work has been widely published and is available in poster and art card from all over the world. John Dyer was born near Taunton in 1968. He completed a Foundation Art Course at Falmouth School of Art in 1987 and went on to gain a BA Hons Degree in Graphic Design at Middlesex Polytechnic in London, showing his final year work at the Smiths Gallery, Covent Garden.
Since graduating John has concentrated his time on painting as well as teaching as a part-time lecturer at Falmouth College of Arts.
John's paintings are bold both in terms of imagery and colour. His palette has a Mediterranean or Caribbean feel with sunny yellows and deep turquoise sea blues. The paintings are very optimistic and are full of fun and happiness with more than just a touch of humour. Colours are placed in large areas creating a base pattern on which the other elements are placed.
1989 made a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society by Robin Hanbury-Tenison
John's work has been used to help to raise awareness for the following organisations INIBAP (International Network for the improvement of banana and plantain) EDEN (The Eden Project) IRRI (The International Rice Research Institute) IPGRI (The International Plant Genetic Resources Institute) Survival International
John's paintings are in the Permanent Collections of:
The National Trust The Eden Project Save The Children The Tresco Estate The Falmouth Public Art Gallery The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, Truro Gyllyngdune Gardens, Falmouth
Royal Photographic Society, London Smiths Gallery, Covent Garden, London Young Designers, Business Design Centre, Islington, London 'Open House' 1991, Newlyn Orion, Cornwall Mid Cornwall Galleries, Par, Cornwall Juliet Gould Galley, Fowey Trelissick Gallery, Truro Chalk Farm Gallery, London Artifex Gallery, Birmingham Falmouth Art Gallery Cambridge Contemporary Art, Cambridge The New Craftsman Gallery St Ives, Cornwall Falmouth Art Gallery Lander Gallery, Truro The Clementine Gallery Fowey
June 1990 Bursary exhibition at Thames Television, Tottenham Court Road, London November 1990 Three person exhibition with Taja & Penny Tajima Simpson at Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. May 1994 Two-person exhibition with artist Joanne Short at Juliet Gould's Gallery, Fowey, Cornwall. July 1994 One man exhibition "Sun Sea & Fancy-Free", Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. May 1995 Exhibition of paintings with Jack Pender, Anthony Frost, & Bryan Pearce at Juliet Gould's Gallery, Fowey, Cornwall. July 1995 One man exhibition "Cornish Fancies", Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. August 1995 Two-person exhibition with artist Joanne Short at Juliet Gould's Gallery, Fowey, Cornwall. July 1996 One man exhibition "A Splash of Summer", Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. Summer 1996 ÒViews of Falmouth" By Artists from Turner to the Present Day, Falmouth Art Gallery. July 1997 One man exhibition "Beneath Cornish Skies", Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. October 1997 One man exhibition "Mad about Cornwall", Artifex Gallery, Birmingham. July 1998 One man exhibition "Tall Ships and Small Ships', Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. July 1999 One man exhibition "Watching and Waiting" ', Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. September 1999 Joint Exhibition with Joanne Short & Ted Dyer "Provence colour and landscape", Cork Street, London. July 2000 Joint Exhibition with Joanne Short "Beachy Treats, on holiday at home", Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. July 2001 One Man Exhibition "A Piece of Eden", Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. July 2002 Joint Exhibition with Joanne Short "Tresco a Cornish Paradise", Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. October 2002 Exhibition at the Eden Project - paintings of Italy. July 2003 Joint Exhibition with Joanne Short "St. Michael's Mount - the sound of the sea", Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. September 2003 Joint Exhibition with Joanne Short & Ted Dyer "Italy Luce e Colori", Gallery 27, Cork Street, London July 2004 One Man Exhibition "Cornish Safari", Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. October / November / December 2004 Exhibition at the Eden Project - 'Rice is Life' 2004 Falmouth Art Gallery - The River 2005 Falmouth Art Gallery - Tremendous 2005 One Man Exhibition "South Coast", Beside The Wave, Falmouth, Cornwall. 2005 Exhibition "Roundabout Tresco", Gallery Tresco, Isles of Scilly. 2006 Exhibition at the Eden Project - Banrock Station Paintings. 2006 Exhibition with Gallery Tresco, Isles of Scilly. with Joanne Short 2007 Exhibition "Paintings from a small island" St Michael's Mount with Joanne Short 2008 Exhibition "Singing and Zinging" Paintings from Giardini Hanbury and Riviera. Monaco. 2008 Exhibition "Tall Ships and Small Ships '08" National Maritime Museum. 2009 Conservatoire Expo, Côte d'Azur, Menton 2010 Carwinion House and Garden 2010 Darwin 200 One Man Show at Falmouth Art Gallery 2012 Global Gardens One Man Show 2014 Official Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Exhibition One Man Show at The National Maritime Museum Cornwall 2015 Cornish Summer Treats Exhibition with Joanne Short and Ted Dyer- The John Dyer Gallery 2015 Spirit of the Rainforest Exhibition at the Eden Project with Amazon Indian Nixiwaka Yawanawa 2018 Retrospective exhibition - Painting the colours of the World at Falmouth Art Gallery
2000/01/02/03/04/05/06/07/08 Painter in residence, The Eden Project, Cornwall July 2002 Resident artist with Alan Titchmarsh - a garden portrait April 2003 One week residency in Costa Rica for the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain. August 2003 Resident artist with Kim Wilde - a garden portrait April 2004 Resident artist for the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines June 2004 Resident artist for BBC Gardeners World Live 2005 Resident artist for 'Africa Calling' Live 8 2006 Resident artist for Banrock Station, South Australia 2006 Resident artist for St Michael's Mount with Joanne Short 2007/08 Resident artist for Giardini Hanbury, Italy 2008 Resident Artist for Funchal 500 Tall Ships Regatta. 2010 Artist in Residence for Darwin 200 and Newquay Zoo 2012 Artist in Residence for Gyllyngdune Gardens, Falmouth 2014 Artist in Residence for the Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Races 2015 Artist in Residence for Eden Project - Spirit of the Rainforest
Fine Art Publications
John's paintings have been reproduced by: Canns Down Press, Beside The Wave Publishing, & The Art Group. 1989 Poster published by Athena. 1990-1994 Art Cards published by Canns Down Press. 1996 Poster published by The Art Group for Habitat. 1997 Posters published by The Art Group. 1998 Posters published by The Art Group. 1998 The official limited edition print of the Tall Ships' Races published by Beside The Wave. 1999 Eclipse Limited Edition published by Beside The Wave. 1999 Eclipse Diary for Primary Schools 2000 Millenium Limited Edition published by Beside The Wave. 2000 Posters & Art Cards published by The Art Group. 2001 The official limited edition print for The Eden Project published by Beside The Wave. 2001 The 'John Dyer Collection' Calendar, Diary, Posters and Drawing book published by the Eden Project. 2002 Tresco limited editions, Eden limited editions 2002 Alan Titchmarsh 'Barleywood' limited editions 2002 Alan Titchmarsh 'Barleywood' posters for Gardeners' World Magazine 2003 National Maritime Museum Limited Edition Print 2003 Save the Children 'Rice and Hope' Limited Edition Print 2004 Eden Project Limited Edition Prints - Bulb Mania! 2004 New ARTCafé range for Alan Titchmarsh Products 2005 Canns Down Press - Art Cards 2007 The Robertson Collection - Art Cards 2008 The Eden Project - Art on demand range 2008 Official Limited edition print for Tall Ships Races 2010 The John Dyer Gallery- Art on demand range 2012 The Truro City Guide 2014 Tall Ships Races
John's paintings have been featured in many magazines including: Art Review Homes and Gardens Artists and Illustrators Times Educational Eden Friends BBC Radio Times Amateur Gardening Garden Answers Gardens Illustrated Inside Cornwall Cornwall Today County to Sea Magazine Coast Magazine Land Rover Monthly And many more...
'Planting and Painting' an evening with John Dyer and Alan Titchmarsh at the Eden Project January 2003 'To Eden and Beyond', The banana story Co-presented with INIBAP September 2003. 'Rice and Hope' Launch of the beat poverty campaign October 2003 Gardeners World Live June 2004 The launch of 'Edible Playgrounds' with Creative Partnerships at Eden Live event with the manager of Banrock Station Tony Sharley at the Eden Project - May 2006 Live Event for Falmouth Tall Ships Live Event for Gyllyngdune Gardens Live Radio Broadcasts with BBC Radio Cornwall Live Radio on the BBC Worldservice Live BBC TV from St Michael's Mount Inspiration speech at Truro Cathedral
John has given his time to many schools and has visited and talked to hundreds of children including: King Charles Primary Porthleven Threemilestone Probus Perranwell Devoran Wendron Winscombe Primary School Truro Cubert
and many many more.
John taught part-time at Falmouth Art School for nine years from 1991 to 2000 on many courses including: BA Illustration, BA Journalism, BA Graphics, Foundation.
Competitions & Children's Art Projects
John has judged many art competitions including: Trebah Gardens Easter Egg painting competition BBC Radio Tall Ships Painting competition Tall Ships 1998 Tall Ships 2008 Girlguides Centenary Darwin 200 Global Gardens with Kim Wilde Tall Ships 2014 Spirit of the Rainforest 2015
Charity work and NGO work
John's has raised money or awareness for the following charities & organisations: Precious Lives Sail Training Association - Tall Ships Gardens for Schools Save the Children UK Rainforest Rescue International Children in Need Cornwall Gardens Society Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust King Charles Primary School The Eden Project International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain, France International Rice Research Institute, Philippines International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome
A selection of questions that have been put to John Dyer
What has influenced your work? Lots of things, my love of paint as a medium is one thing. I really enjoy squeezing out a big lump of paint directly onto the canvas and leaving it; fresh, immediate and sometimes shocking. At other moments I enjoy building up the paint, breaking it down again, layering it, painting over it etc. My work all stems from my enjoyment of the medium. I also have a passion for colour, strong colours, clashing colours, all colours. My last great love is my home county of Cornwall, I love to sit and watch people enjoying themselves on the beaches and in the harbour towns of Cornwall; put this all together and I want to paint, paint big, bright, optimistic pictures of the place I love.
I have also been surrounded by artists and paintings throughout my life, as you probably know my father Ted Dyer is an artist and from a very early age, I have spent time sitting in the environment painting and drawing what I see, not what a camera would see, but what I see.
What other artists have you studied? Matisse, Chagall, Bonnard, the Fauves, Van Gogh.
Which areas in Cornwall do you most enjoy studying? I choose to live in Falmouth because I like the town, its harbour and all of the activity associated with it; boats, tugs, ferry trips, seagulls, people, buildings etc. Falmouth is one of my favourite places to paint. Other places that I really enjoy working at are Coombe, St. Ives, Coverack, Church Cove, Port Loe, Flushing, Cadgwith.
Are your paintings from life or do you use photographs or previous studies? The majority of my work is from life, I spend most fine days from May to October painting outside in some of the places that I have mentioned above. I try to complete the painting by the end of the day, and include elements that I observe throughout the day, dogs, birds, people, fishermen etc. During the winter when the weather is too poor to work outside I do use drawings and photographs, but I change my work so that it encompasses other elements and is not just a time and place study. e.g the Tall Ships series, animal paintings, work based on the family unit etc.
Where else in the world would you like to study? I have been painting in France in Brittany and Provence & also Spain as well as the Philippines, Costa Rica, Australia and Peru. When I was in Brazil photographing in 1989 I knew that I wanted to paint, and on my return to Cornwall, I discovered that I was living in a tropical paradise.
Would you consider going back to photography and why? No. It is far too limiting and in my opinion, the advent of digital media has destroyed much of the magic and mystery of the medium. I do however still take photographs for my own use, personal studies. I do not feel that I can fully express my views through the medium and this is why I have moved towards painting. Photography is, however, a fantastic medium and I would still use it for certain subjects.
What contemporary artist do you admire? Hockney, Frost, Heron.
Why did you decide to become a painter and when did you recognise that you had such a creative talent? While I was at college studying design I decided to paint, in some ways it was a reaction to the constraints of design as well as a yearning for the landscape of Cornwall. I was also greatly inspired by the colours that I had seen on my travels in the Brazilian Rainforest. I decided to become a painter when my first four paintings were all published and attracted a great deal of interest. I exhibited one of them and it was sold, but more importantly than the sale it seemed to brighten people, it raised people’s spirits, my optimism for life had been carried through my work and this was something that I had previously failed to achieve. This was the point at which I realised that if I did what I wanted to do it would work, and it was also the point that I suppose I could acknowledge that all of my knowledge and training had come together to create something that I was excited about.
I was told that I was ‘talented’ when I applied to Falmouth School of Art for the foundation course in 1986, and was told that I should consider skipping the course and proceeding directly to degree level, the same thing occurred when I applied to a degree, I was advised that maybe I was already at that level. However, I ignored all of this advise and found out that I did not know everything, and in fact had an awful lot to learn!
Barbara Hepworth said about the landscape of Cornwall:
“Landscape is strong - it has bones and flesh and skin and hair. it has age and history and a principle behind its evolution”
i) Do you agree with her? Yes, this is a fantastic statement and relates directly to her work.
ii) What would be your personal definition of the Cornish landscapes? I will quote several lines that I have used before, none answer your question directly as my work is not entirely based on the landscape; but what happens within the landscape. Here are some:
“Sun, Sea, and Fancy-Free.”
“When the sun comes out in Cornwall, the landscape fills with colour, the light pours over the vegetation filling each leaf with radiant colours and cool waters into Mediterranean delights. “
“I love living in Cornwall, and I love painting. I spend every day that I can out and about painting what I see:
"Bright colours, sunshine and fun, small dogs with damp noses, peeling paint and peeling people; shells on the beach, sea spray in the air, jazz bands in bandstands, picnics on cliff tops, bright coloured smocks, cactus plants on walls, and banana plants in the park; small coves, huge Atlantic beaches, surf and still waters, the red moon on the horizon and stars, comets, and crickets; lighthouses and cottages, fishing boats and floats; theatre on the cliff, getting married on the beach, clear air and big skies; seagulls, greedy gulls, and silly gulls; buckets of crabs, fishermen in yellow oilskins, cats stealing fish, sea pinks and mermaids, ferry boats and flags.
These are just some of the things that inspire my paintings.
My work documents my trips out into the landscape and the things that I enjoy. Through my paintings, I hope to lift peoples spirits and provide an optimistic outlook on life.”
What has influenced your interest in art?
As you probably know my father is a well-known artist (Ted Dyer) who has been painting for many years. Our work is very different but growing up surrounded by paintings, paints, easels and art books does have an effect. My father has been very successful with his work and I decided that the lifestyle that an artist can have, the freedom to wander in the landscape with no real pressure or deadlines was a very attractive one. I have lived in Cornwall from the age of four so I have always been aware of the artistic heritage that the county has. I feel very proud to be able to connect to this in some small way. Painting is really good fun, I have always enjoyed it and I find that as long as I paint what I want with the freedom that I enjoy I never tire.
Have you always lived by the sea? If so, Where?
From the age of four until I was eighteen I lived on the north coast of Cornwall with my family at Holywell Bay. I used to spend most of my free time on the beach playing in the rock pools, swimming, flying kites, and occasionally horse riding. I studied for my degree in London and consequently ended up spending five years away from Cornwall. I deliberately moved away from the coast to experience a different way of life, however, the coast of Cornwall is so fundamental to me that I moved back and now live in Falmouth. It was not just the scenery that I moved back for but the quality of air, light, the pace of life, simplicity of living. The move also made me focus on my paintings and rediscover Cornwall for the second time.
In what way does the sea inspire you?
The most amazing thing to me about the sea is the tide. A harbour like St. Ives is totally transformed in a very short space of time by the arrival or departure of the sea. To people from other countries, it is even more amazing because in some parts of the world there is very little tidal movement. St Michaels Mount is another favourite place of mine to watch the tide; people will walk steadily across to the Mount all day and assume that they will be able to walk home. The spectacle of hundreds of people suddenly realising that the path they walked over on is disappearing under several feet of water is very amusing as they rush with prams, children and dogs to wade back to shore.
The other things that I love about the sea are its sounds and the way in which it reflects the sky. The colours that shimmer across its surface are unbelievable and this combined with the colour of the water if it is shallow and over white sand surprise me every time. Often I question some of the colour in my work but if you look it is all there.
I love the way you portray boats, what is your experience of boating?
I used to own a dingy and can still sail one if pushed, but I like the pleasure boats and trips that can be taken on them. The colours that these boats are painted are really wonderful. I am not so keen on modern yachts because they are predominantly white. I am lucky to live in Falmouth because of the variety of boats on the water and I prefer to paint them rather than sail them.
What do you hope to convey through your paintings?
Optimism, fun, life, joy, happiness, the good things in life, the colours that pass people by.
Which artists have inspired your work?
Different artists influence me all the time, I regularly visit collections of paintings. this year I have travelled to Paris twice to see the work in the Pompidou Centre specifically, work by The Fauves, Matisse, Bonnard. Originally the paintings by Van Gough and Chagall had a big influence.
What tools do you use to apply your paint?
Brushes of different sizes from size 2 to four inches, I also apply paint directly from the tube and with my fingers.
Are there specific colours you like to use in your palette?
Cobalt Blue, Cad yellow, Cad red, Pthalo green shade, Pthalo blue shade...... I use a very wide selection of colours. It is impossible to produce work like mine using only the primary colours as they only mix a certain range of colour. Turquoise blues, bright clear oranges, vibrant pinks, clean purples, lemon yellows etc cannot be mixed. I use about twenty different colours to retain the luminance in my work.
I have noticed that your style of painting has slightly changed over the last few years. What has influenced this?
Until you pointed this out I was not really aware of the change, however having looked at some of my earlier work I feel that I have simply improved the way in which I paint. The colours are cleaner and there is more energy in the brushwork.
How do you resource your paintings
I paint the majority of my paintings outside directly from life. My other work comes from within me; mad animals, mermaids, abstract shapes etc. I also paint still lives which I do again from life in the studio.
"Walk into a room full of John Dyer's creations and you can not help but be bowled over by their sunny optimism, their colourful exuberance. They tell stories of seaside days and adventures into the natural world, of exploring our surroundings with a genuine joie de vivre. His distinct style is internationally renowned and he has travelled widely, depicting the relationship between people and their environment in places as diverse as Australia, the Philippines Costa Rica and Japan " Lucy Cornes
Born Ruishton, Somerset, the son of artists Ted Dyer & Vivien
Family settles in Holywell Bay, Cornwall
Attends Cubert County Primary School with Joanne Short
John's photographs first published in Amateur Photographer
Attends Newquay Tretherras School with Joanne Short
Attends Falmouth Art School for foundation year
Attends Middlesex Polytechnic
First publishes photographs with Athena.
Elected a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society by Robin Hanbury-Tenison & travels to the Amazon Rainforest on a travelling bursary
Founder of Beside The Wave Gallery with the Dyer family
John's first exhibition at Thames Television, London
First exhibits at Beside The Wave, Falmouth
Starts lecturing at Falmouth College of Arts
First exhibition with artist Joanne Short at Juliet Gould Gallery, Fowey
First one-man show at Beside The Wave, Falmouth 'Sun, Sea & Fancy-Free'
Work published for Habitat fine art prints
Marries Joanne Short at Gunwalloe Church Cove, Cornwall
First exhibition with Artifex Gallery, West Midlands
Official artist for Tall Ships Race.
'Tall Ships and Small Ships' reproduced as official limited edition print
Travels to Provence
Travels to Provence
Daughter Martha-Lilly Dyer born on eclipse day
Starts as Painter in Residence for The Eden Project
Travels to Loire Valley, France
Painter in Residence for Tresco, with Joanne Short
Paints 'Roaming around the Rainforest'
reproduced as the official print for The Eden Project
Painter in Residence for Alan Titchmarsh's Barleywood
Painter in Residence for St Michael's Mount with Joanne Short
Helps to Launch 'Edible Playgrounds'
Travels to Tuscany/Umbria in Italy
'Scavel an Gow' commissioned by Eden to write a new set of stories based on John Dyer's paintings of Italy
First exhibition at The Eden Project
Paints 'Magical Maritime Mermaids' to celebrate the opening of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall
'Barleywood' paintings featured in BBC Radio Times
Live event with Alan Titchmarsh at The Eden Project
Painter in Residence for the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain, Costa Rica
Travels to Tuscany/Umbria in Italy
Painter in Residence for Kim Wilde
Launches the 'Beat Poverty' Campaign with Save the Children at The Eden Project.
Produces 'Rice and Hope' painting for Save the Children.
Painter in Residence for the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines
Painter in Residence for BBC Gardeners' World Live & Live event with Alan Titchmarsh
Paints Ellen McArthur's triumphant record-breaking return to Falmouth
Travels to Cote d'Azur, France
Painter in Residence for Tresco
'The West We Like Best' ITV Television series featuring John Dyer.
'The Painted Garden' ITV Television series featuring John Dyer.
Painter in Residence for Africa Calling, Live 8, Eden Project with Kurt Jackson
Produces painting to be auctioned for BBC Children in Need
Co-founder with artist Joanne Short of The John Dyer Gallery
Leaves Beside The Wave Gallery
Painter in Residence for Banrock Station, South Australia
Paints 'Gateway to Cornwall' for Brunel 200 Celebrations funded by the Heritage Lottery and commissioned by Falmouth Art Gallery
Painter in Residence for Tresco, with Joanne Short
Paints the Tresco Marathon
Painter in Residence for St Michael's Mount, with Joanne Short
BBC Spotlight Live Outside Broadcast
Birth of daughter Wilamena May Dyer
Paints 'The Olive Route' for Carol Drinkwater's book
Painter in Residence for St Michael's Mount, with Joanne Short
First exhibition on St Michael's Mount 'Paintings from a small Island'
Travels to Japan
First exhibition in Japan
Travels to Cote d'Azur, France and Liguria in Italy meets Carolyn Hanbury at the Hanbury Gardens and William Waterfield at The Clos du Peyronnet. Lives in Menton, France for a year at the Winter Palace
Painter in Residence for Giardini Hanbury, La Mortola, Italy with artist Joanne Short
Official Artist for the Tall Ships Races, Falmouth, Cornwall
First Exhibition in Monaco
Artist in Residence for The South West Darwin 200 celebrations working with Newquay Zoo and Falmouth Art Gallery and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Painter in Residence for the International Center for Potato, Peru
Artist in Residence for Girlguides Centenary Celebrations
Artist for the Official Monaco Film - Monaco Classics Week
Exhibition with the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust
Royal Cornwall Hospital Project
Exhibition at Carwinion House, Cornwall
Falmouth Oyster Festival official painting and print
Painting featured in Falmouth Frameworks Book
Artist in Residence for Gyllyngdune Gardens
Global Gardens Project
Work featured on the Truro City Guide
Exhibition of Global Crops Paintings with the National trust
Exhibition of Ethnobotanical works at Falmouth Art Gallery
First exhibits with The New Craftsman Gallery, St Ives, Cornwall
First exhibits with The Lander Gallery, Truro, Cornwall
Exhibits at Carwinion House and Garden, Cornwall with Artist Joanne Short
Appointed Artist in Residence for the Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta 2014
Runs The BIG Art and Storytelling Tall Ships Project with John Frankland, Philip Mould, Damian Dibben, Dea Birkett, Maxwell Golden, James Graham and Paul Farmer.
Exhibits at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Meets Nixiwaka Yawanawá at the Eden Project
Commission for Alan Titchmarsh MBE
'Spirit of the Rainforest' project art residency with Nixiwaka Yawanawá at the Eden Project
This painting was produced as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Darwin 200 celebrations’. Falmouth Art Gallery worked in partnership with Newquay Zoo on a season of celebratory exhibitions to mark the occasion. John Dyer was appointed as ‘Darwin 200 artist in residence’, and had access to many of the zoo’s animal enclosures.
This picture was begun at 5 am as the animals awoke for their morning feeding. The man holding the torch is Newquay Zoo's Education Officer, Mark Norris, who is showing an early morning party round the zoo. John has included a portrait of himself at his easel, and a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner for Darwin.
Before he begins a painting John deliberates long and hard, working out how to interpret the subject into his own personal vision and capture the ‘essence’ that will trigger emotions in the viewer. He then works extremely quickly to capture the spontaneity of the moment. In this work he has cleverly captured the complex layout of the zoo to include nearly all the resident animals as well as some visiting bats and seagulls.
Location: Sunrise Centre, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro ,Cornwall, UK
Held in the public collection of the NHS Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust
Title: Rice and Hope, Beat Poverty. 2003
Size: 33 x 40 inches
Medium: Acrylic on board
Location: Save the Children UK, Hinton Room.
Painted to launch the Beat Poverty Campaign for Save the Children at the Eden Project
Held in the public collection of Save the Children UK
Save the Children UK asked John Dyer to help them to launch the 'Beat Poverty' campaign at the Eden Project on 7 October 2003. Visitors to the project saw John at work in the Humid Tropics Biome painting a new Eden painting highlighting the importance of rice.
Each person that signed up to the campaign on the day at Eden was included in the historical painting.
The painting, 'Rice and Hope', measures 33 x 40 inches, acrylic on board, and is framed. It is full of life and colour.
John Dyer was also the resident artist for the UN year of Rice working at the International Rice Research Institute, IRRI, in the Philippines. Launching the International Year of Rice 2004, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Dr Jacques Diouf, said that "rice is the staple food for over half of the world's population" but warned that "its production is facing serious constraints."
LIMITED EDITION PRINTS Limited Edition Signed prints of the painting have been sold raising in excess of £6000 for the campaign.
Title: Amazing Mayhen in the Maze in May, Glendurgan Garden. 2005
Size: 33 x 40 inches
Medium: Acrylic on board
Location: The National Trust, Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall.
Painted in 2005 and purchased by The National Trust
Held in the public collection of Glendurgan garden
"It is a very special painting of one of the most entertaining, visually exciting and historically important gardens in Cornwall, and for the National Trust and the team at Glendurgan to be so inspired by it that they wish to own it is not only very exciting, but a real honour." John Dyer 2005.
Steven Porter, Head Gardener at Glendurgan says:
"We were mesmerised by the painting when we first saw it and we are over the moon to now have it on display at Glendurgan. It will prove to be popular with our visitors, and hopefully be an image that people will want to take home with them. We are also using the painting to kick-start a collaboration with King Charles Primary School in Falmouth, of which John is a governor. We aim to develop the pupil's interest in plants, gardening and the environment. It is hoped that this painting will inspire the children from this and other schools to paint and take an active and creative interest in the garden."
Dyer, John (born 1968): Gateway to Cornwall - the Brunell 200 celebrations, signed, acrylic on canvas, 61 x 61cms. Commissioned with funding from Brunel 200, an initiative of Bristol Cultural Development Partnership - Arts Council England South West, Heritage Lottery Fund, Bristol City Council and Business West.
The painting was commissioned by the late Brian Stewart, the former director of Falmouth Art Gallery for the Brunel 200 celebrations. Brian and John spent an afternoon at Paradise Park in Cornwall looking at the birds and wildlife. By the end of the afternoon John had drawn the basic composition of 'Gateway to Cornwall' on the back of a napkin in the café. Many of the elements in the painting were mentioned by Brian during their conversations and the work includes the artist, his wife and children as subjects.
Purchased by Gyllyngdune Gardens to celebrate the success of John Dyer's 2012 residency at Gyllyngdune Gardens.
This painting was produced as part of the residency at Gyllyngdune Gardens that artist John Dyer completed in 2012. The painting captures not only the restoration of the gardens but also the Diamond Jubilee year celebrations that were held in the gardens.
"John Dyer has been the artist in residence for Gyllyngdune Gardens duing 2012. The artist was approached by the team at Gyllyngdune Gardens a few years ago when they decided to apply for Heritage Lottery Funding to save the historic gardens. The dream has now come true and with the award o 2.3 million pounds Falmouth's historic gardens and bandstand have been restored. In addition to this the gardens have a new visitor center which is where the painting will be displayed."
"It is our aspiration to make Gyllyngdune an inspirational, innovative and accessible place to visit where everyone is welcome. It will be a public place where you can relax; play; learn; exercise; enjoy art, theatre, music & performance; and experience the garden's heritage which is rich in people, places and plants." Gyllyngdune Gardens.
Title: Peckish Penguins. 2009
Size: 24 x 24 inches
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Location: Falmouth Art Gallery,Cornwall, UK
Purchased as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Darwin 200 celebrations.
Held in the public collection of art at Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall, UK
This painting was produced as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Darwin 200 celebrations’. Falmouth Art Gallery worked in partnership with Newquay Zoo on a season of celebratory exhibitions to mark the occasion. John Dyer was appointed as ‘Darwin 200 artist in residence’, and had access to many of the zoo’s animal enclosures.
This picture was painted in the penguin enclosure while the penguins waddled, squaked and swam around the artist.
The vivid colour of the yellow sky and lime water contrasts with the deep purples of the penguins. A popular painting in the Falmouth art gallery collection.
"My Darwin 200 year has taken me around the world. I explored the high Andes in Peru, painted a series of bird paintings which were used for the ballet in France, helped to inspire nearly 200 children to paint their own Darwin paintings and of course I have had the most marvelous experiences on my days at the Zoo in Newquay with my easel covered in lemurs and my feet being nibbled by meerkats ! I hope the paintings will inspire and excite and that they will bring continued enjoyment to those who choose to adopt them for the future." John Dyer 2009
Artist john Dyer is one of the leading contemporary painters in the UK. His work is internationally recognised and it hangs in leading organisations and public galleries. The artist has been invited to work on many prestigious international art projects around the world and when he can John likes to reach out to the community to include as many young people as possible in his artistic journey.
John has worked on United Nations supported projects in Costa Rica, the Philippines and Peru painting ethnobotanical paintings working with farmers and scientists as well as celebratory sets of work for the Tall Ships Regatta in London and Falmouth. John Dyer was also appointed as the official artist for the UK's Darwin 200 celebrations which saw him painting in the enclosures of zoo animals as they climbed across his easel and paints.
In 2015 John embarked on a world first and worked with an Amazon Indian, Nixiwaka Yawanawá, to paint the Amazon Rainforest spirits. This was one of the most successful community projects with thousands of young people from around the world engaging with his art and the rainforest.
John Dyer - Artist in Residence for the Eden Project
John Dyer is the painter in residence for the Eden Project in Cornwall. John has worked with the project from the year 2000 to the present day and has not only recorded the planting of the biomes but has travelled across the world to study the plants in their natural habitats.
"Working as a 'Painter in Residence' at the Eden Project has given John an unprecedented insight into the project and the people who made it happen. Working at Watering Lane Nursery and the Biomes at Eden since November 2000 John has had a unique painting experience." Sue Hill, Art Director of Eden Project
"John Dyer is the painter in residence for the Eden Project in Cornwall. John has worked with the project from the year 2000 to the present day and has not only recorded the planting of the biomes but has travelled across the world to study the plants in their natural habitats.
The Eden Project have used John's work to help to tell their 'plant people' stories and a major exhibition was held for world food day in October 2002 of his italian crop paintings.
John's work continues with Eden as he works towards his 'Crops Project' exhibition. And in 2004 John exhibited 'Rice is Life' at the project.
John's latest painting for Eden was the Live 8 Africa Calling concert."
John Dyer on his first experiences at Eden
In 1989/90 I was lucky enough to win a travelling bursary to the Amazon Rainforest courtesy of Thames Television. I spent three weeks photographing the Rainforest for an exhibition in London.
The experience made me change the way I was living and working. The first change that I made was to focus on painting rather than photography. The colours of the wooden buildings in the Amazonian towns and villages, the vibrant greens of the foliage and the tea coloured Amazon river gave me a desire to paint and to explore colour.
The second change was a sudden desire to return to Cornwall, the place that I had grown up in. When I returned to Cornwall after my experience of the Amazon I noticed what I had taken for granted for years. The plants growing in Cornwall, palms on the sea front, tree ferns and cactus mixed together in gardens, places like Trebah Gardens and The Lost Gardens of Heligan were being rediscovered. Taking a boat up Frenchman's Creek was a deja vu experience for me. Large fallen trees half submerged in the water, foliage tumbling down steep slopes, birds echoing in the undergrowth, this was as Amazonian as it got for me and I realised that Cornwall had it all.
I moved back to Falmouth and began to paint, and indulge in colour and shape. My Cornwall was tropical. Ten years on and the Millennium has arrived, together with the most exciting Millennium project in the country; The Eden Project.
Eden presented a chance for me to return to the Rainforest, this time with my paints instead of my camera. In November 2000 Sue Hill, the art director at The Eden Project offered me a painting residency, and began by showing me around Watering Lane Nursery. 20,000 plants are impressive, especially when they are being nurtured in a state of the art glasshouse. As the door to the glasshouse slid open it was like stepping off the plane in Santarem, Brazil. Rows and rows of specimen plants from West Africa, Amazonia and Oceania stood waiting to be inspected. Papaya trees covered in fruit, Balsa trees almost getting bigger before my eyes,Cheese plants everywhere, Palms, Oranges, Lemons, Cacti, Sugar Cane and plants of all shapes and sizes.
The atmosphere at Watering Lane is very calm, the smell of the plants in flower and the dampness of the earth floor creates a soothing experience. A small team of people continually tend the plants, moving them around the glass houses, checking for pests, watering, sweeping and during my time at Watering Lane there was a continuous stream of plants being loaded onto vans to be taken to Eden.
Each time I return there are new wonders to see as the plants change. Everybody that I have met during my time at Watering Lane has their own personal favourite plant of the moment, 'have you seen the...., oh you really must have a look at...' and off they would dash with me in hot pursuit to see another wonder from Eden.
My first visit to the Biomes at Eden was during December 2000. Having completed the necessary health and safety induction I put on my hard hat and was taken from the atrocious winter weather and arrived in the steamy tropical atmosphere of West Africa, at the very top of the Humid Tropics Biome. I had arrived at Eden. I looked down through the Biome towards an oasis of palm trees planted next to a lagoon surrounded by earth moving equipment and tiny people. The whole scene resembled a gigantic set from a James Bond film; teams of people busily working in fluorescent jackets and colour coded hard hats, electric buggies ferrying plants and people through the Biome. But this was something quite different from Bond, this was real. This was amazing.
During January and February 2001 I regularly painted in the Biomes at Eden. The experience always had a filmic feel to it to; driven down into the pit in the back of a van, hard hat and jacket with 'Eden Project' emblazoned on them ready for action. The entrance to the Humid Tropics Biome for me was through vast pneumatic doors that concertina and seal shut after you like an airlock on a spaceship. If we ever colonise the moon then look no further than Eden for a glimpse of that future. Easel, paints and board safely loaded into an electric buggy I would be driven slowly up through the quarry from continent to continent, past impossible feats of daring as plants were being pushed and planted on almost vertical rock faces, and then I would be left in a quiet area to watch all of the activity during the day.
The myriad of leaf shapes, twisted stems, prehistoric thorns and jewel like tropical flowers surrounded by busy people pushing wheel barrows, moving soil, and carrying enormous plants has provided a truly exciting subject for me. As I painted I was gently steamed, and if the sun came out and started to track across the pit I start to boil. I was considerably over dressed on my first painting trip to Eden !
The Eden Project is a showcase for nature and exists not only to entertain but more importantly to educate and remind us to respect the natural world and the plant life in it. I hope that my paintings, in some way, will reinforce Eden's message of how marvellous nature is and help to create a sense that this must be conserved for us all. I am an optimist and try to focus this in my work.
I have found The Eden Project to be a very positive experience and I hope this is reflected in my paintings. To be associated with The Eden Project and to have been allowed to paint during the birth of Eden has been a real privilege for me and I am looking forward to watching Eden grow and establish itself as a true wonder of the world.
John Dyer 2001
John Dyer looks back on the last seven years working with Eden.
A vision of a green future focused on the extraordinary contribution that plants make to our planet, combined with the relationships that we have with those plants. For an artist who had travelled as far as the Amazon Rainforest to study plants this was a must see project - The Eden Project.
“My painting residency started at Eden back in the year 2000. I had recently returned from a painting trip to Provence recording the grape harvest and Sue Hill the art director of the Eden project took me under her wing as Eden’s painter in residence.
Sue showed me the plants before they were planted in the biomes and as the door to the glasshouse slid open it was like stepping off the plane in Santarem, Brazil. Rows and rows of specimen plants from West Africa, Amazonia and Oceania stood waiting to be inspected. Papaya trees covered in fruit, Balsa trees almost getting bigger before my eyes,Cheese plants everywhere, Palms, Oranges, Lemons, Cacti, Sugar Cane and leaves of all shapes and sizes. It was fantasic !
I have been working alongside Eden ever since and have had a remarkable journey with them. People often ask how the relationship works - am I really ‘resident’ on site and can I paint subjects that I want or do I have to follow Eden’s instructions?
The answer to these questions and the reason that I am still working with Eden is that the relationship is founded on simplicity, trust and a shared vision for the environment. I am not on site at Eden every day - or even every month. I paint exactly what I want and when I wish to. If Eden wish to exhibit or publish the resulting work then that is fantastic and it means I remain a true artist following my own heart and interests which works for us both.
So - what have I been up to over the past seven years with Eden? Lots!
This is the chronology of my Eden story so far. 2000 In November 200 I was made The Eden Project's Painter in Residence. and started my residency at Wateringlane nursery and also at the construction site of the Biomes.
2001 In 2001 Eden purchase one of my key paintings "Garden of Eden" and launch the John Dyer/Eden Project range of calendar, diary, posters, cards and a huge retail display. They also use one of my paintings as their official Eden Print to launch the project. This had a major impact on my work and increased the number of people who knew about my work dramatically.
2002 In 2002 Eden commissioned an entire exhibition of mediterranean crop paintings of Italy for World Food Week and also commissioned 'Scavel and Gow' an acclaimed writers group in Cornwall to write a new set of stories about the works. The Exhibition was held at Eden and the stories were performed live to an audience with the paintings. The combination was magical.
2003 In 2003 I chose to extend my work to Alan Titchmarsh and his famous garden. I considered Alan a key player in environmentalism and his organic approach to gardening made him a very interesting subject. As a result of painting the BBC Gardeners’ World garden Alan and I hosted an evening of live talk and paintings at Eden. Over 400 people paid to attend and it was the fastest selling Eden event to date.
I built on this event by then spending a week with Kim Wilde in her garden painting. Eden featured this work to raise awarness to involve children in growing food. Kim is an active supporter of getting children involved with plants and I painted her children actively engaged in planting in her garden.
Also in 2003 Sue Hill asked me to start the 'Crops Project' looking at the worlds most important staple foods and the ethnobotanical relationships surrounding them.
As part of this project Bioversity International, one of Eden's scientific partners, commissioned me to paint in Costa Rica to highlight small holder banana and chocolate farming and also home gardens.
These paintings and the story behind them became the subject for a special event at Eden in their new foundation building.
Save the Children asked me to help them launch their 'Beat Poverty' campaign which I did by painting rice in the Humid Tropics Biome. Everybody who signed up got painted in - and we sold a set of prints raising over £6000 for the cause.
2004 Eden invent their "Bulb Mania!" season and commission a new painting to celebrate this and also publish a set of prints from it.
The Painted Plants web site is launched using my paintings with text from Eden and it was all hosted on Alan Titchmarsh's web site. The site has recently moved but is still available to view from The John Dyer Gallery.
The International Rice Research Institute ask me to paint the rice harvest in the Philippines for the United Nations International Year of Rice These paintings form the exhibition "Rice is Life" which was exhibited at Eden from September to Christmas 2004. The paintings were also published as a calendar in the Philippines.
2005 In 2005 Eden asked me to record one of their most exciting events to date. Live8. My mission was to paint a new iconic painting to capture the essence of Africa Calling at Eden.
Eden also commission a new painting for their skating season 'A Time of Gifts' and again publish a new set of prints.
2006 Eden have many working partners all over the world and the newest of these in 2006 was the wine company Banrock Station. Eden decided that it would be a great idea to get me to paint the wetlands of Australia with Banrock Station, I simply had to agree !
The resulting paintings formed the hub of a one night exhibition and event with over 600 people attending to hear a live talk from myself and manager of Banrock Station Tony Sharley.
Also in 2006 I was commissioned to paint the cover of Carol Drinkwater’s new book ‘The Olive Route’ The publishers had been inspired by my Eden work in the mediterranean.
2007 My most recent project with Eden has been with assisting with a bid to hopefully raise over 1 million pounds for African Artists. Falmouth Art gallery and The Eden Project are working closely on this and my paintings have been used to illustrate the power of the combination of art with Eden. I spent the day a few weeks ago with the chief executive of Eden, Tim Smit, the curator of Falmouth Art Gallery, Brian Stewart and a party of people from London giving a tour of Eden and explaining the potential for performance, sculpture and interpretational art within the project. I will keep my fingers crossed.
"John's work is pure painted joy -unbuttoned, jumping up-and-down, salty, earthy, laugh-out-loud, natural energy. His pictures make you want to touch felty leaves, squeeze fat fruit, push your nose into flowers and breathe deeply. It's no surprise that his paintings are popular the world over; whether he is painting a vineyard in Provence, the Humid Tropics at Eden, or docks and beaches in his own native Falmouth, he touches a very human need - the innocent thirst for light, pattern and colour. We sense in John's paintings the sheer human thrill of being alive... It has been an absolute delight hosting him at Eden, he has charmed staff and public alike with his interest and enthusiasm. We look forward to his next adventures in paint at Eden - in Chile perhaps, or Steppe, or before too long in a new Desert Biome?"
Sue Hill Art Director, Eden Project
John Dyer - Eden Project Chronology
2000 Made The Eden Project's Painter in Residence. Starts residencey at Wateringlane and follows construction of Biomes.
2001 Eden purchase "Garden of Eden" John Dyer original for permanent collection
Eden use John Dyer painting for 'Official Eden Print'
Eden launch John Dyer/Eden range - calendar, diary, posters, cards and huge retail display
2002 Eden commission exhibition of mediterranean crop paintings of Italy from John Dyer for World Food Week and commision 'Scavel and Gow' to write a new set of stories about the works. Exhibition held at Eden
2003 John Dyer extends work to Alan Titchmarsh and John and Alan host an evening of live talk and paintings at Eden. The fastest selling Eden event to date.
John Dyer paints Kim Wilde's garden and Eden feature work as part of awarness to involve children in growing food.
Sue Hill aks John to start the 'Crops Project' looking at the worlds most important foods and the ethnobotanical relationships.
INIBAP Eden's scientific partner commission John Dyer to travel to Costa Rica to paint Banana farming and Chocolate farming.
John Dyer presents Costa Rica paintings at live event at Eden's Foundation building.
Eden ask John Dyer to work with Save the Children to launch 'Beat Poverty' by painting rice in the Humid Tropics.
2004 Eden commission "Bulb Mania!" painting and new prints
Painted Plants web site launched using John Dyer's paintings with text from Eden and hosted on Alan Titchmarsh's web site
IRRI Eden's partner in the Philippines hosts John Dyer to paint the rice harvest for the International Year of Rice
"Rice is Life" Exhibition held at Eden from September to Christmas 2004
2005 Eden ask John Dyer to be resident artist at Live8 to paint a new iconic painting to capture the essence of Africa Calling
John Dyer's banana paintings used for international exhibit by INIBAP
Eden commission new 'Time of Gifts' painting and new prints
2006 John Dyer's rice paintings used for international calandar launched by IRRI in Philippines
Eden ask Banrock Station to host John Dyer in Australia. John paints new collection of wetland paintings
John Dyer /Banrock event at Eden with exhibition and live talk with Tony Sharley to over 600 people.
John Dyer's Olive paintings used for Carol Drinkwater book
2007 Mencap use John Dyer 'Bulb Mania!' painting to recreate large mural at Eden
United Nations highlight John Dyer's paintings from Eden on the FAO web site
John Dyer's Live8 Eden painting used to help a bid for 1 million pounds for African Artists from Arts Fund International.
2008 Resident artist for CIP in Peru for the International Year of Potato
2015 Spirit of the Rainforest with Survival International, the Eden Project and Amazon Indian Nixiwaka Yawanawá
"British painter John Dyer produced a series of paintings that interpreted the relationships among people, the rice plant, and the rice ecosystem. The paintings are an extension of the work that John - the painter in residence for the Eden Biodome project in Cornwall - carried out last year for the Save the Children Fund. Inspired by the IYR, John hopes his paintings will draw attention to the importance of rice and its impact on the environment." Duncan Macintosh, International Rice Reserch Institute
John Dyer’s first residency on Tresco was in 2001,
Tresco a Cornish Paradise. “The Tresco Estate and Robert Dorrien-Smith very kindly agreed to host us on the island during May 2001 and offered us unprecedented access to the Abbey Gardens to facilitate our paintings.
The Abbey Gardens are pure imagination and unabashed visual spectacle. They look like no other place.
We first set foot on Tresco during May 2001 landing on a rather damp and green island and not really knowing what to expect. Soon we felt at home and took over part of the Abbey as a makeshift studio and painting store. The following day was all sun and smiles. We painted like children in a sweet shop it was delightful. Painting outside, in Cornwall, together and in an unbelievably beautiful place is what it is all about for us. The simple pleasure of looking, and interpreting and then painting with enthusiasm and energy to put down our vision for us and other people to enjoy is why we both paint. Through the process of painting, the environment slowly unravels and you gain a greater understanding of place and time. We always meet interesting characters and see wonderful things while painting the world as it slowly drifts past the canvas. Tresco was no exception with human / plant and animal life presenting equally interesting subjects for us. Echiums towering above our heads, forests of palms, cacti, date palms grown to full size, succulents hanging from every conceivable place, colour, bright colour everywhere and birds, birds, birds. It really is a cornish paradise. The days are long at the end of May and allow many hours of painting time, so we would start our work just after breakfast by walking out of the Abbey and straight into paradise – before the gates opened. So for the first couple of hours each day the gardens where ours. The same happened in the evening; after 4pm the gardens start to empty and between 5pm and 8pm we would paint in the glorious early summer evening sun watching the gardens in a totally undisturbed way. Invariably during these private viewings of the gardens we would encounter Topper and Batty with Frank in hot pursuit. Topper is a small white dog and Batty is a black Labrador who live in the Abbey while Frank is one of Tresco’s finest characters. Frank now retired used to be a gardener at the Abbey for many years and has many a tale to tell while he is on his perpetual hunt for Topper the mischievous little dog. Every day we would be engaged in animated tales about the island and the gardens and it was these conversations that have made us feel a real connection to the place. The plants that manage to grow in the gardens are remarkable, but it is even more remarkable when compared to the natural landscape and flora of the island. Tresco has a very open feel to it, vast expanses of sea and sky, white sands only interrupted by the odd sea bird, and night skies that have fallen straight from the pages of a story book. So to contrast with our busy energy packed bursting with life garden paintings we have been working on a series of paintings that capture the essence of the coastline. The beach at Pentle Bay literally sparkles with light. If you dip your hand into the sand it comes out as if covered in glitter. It is this luminosity and light that give Tresco its special appeal. Tresco has presented a challenging subject – one moment there is so much to paint that it becomes almost an impossibility and the next it presents huge open expanses of colour and the illusive sense of space and infinity.” John Dyer
“John is a very exciting ‘plein-air’ painter who has a large global following. He is ‘Painter in residence’ at the Eden Project, and is firmly at the forefront of contemporary Cornish art.” Gallery Tresco 2005
Artist John Dyer spent a week with Alan Titchmarsh painting at Barleywood
John Dyer and Alan Titchmarsh became firm friends during his arts residency at the BBC Gardeners’ World garden owned by Alan Titchmarsh. Alan acquired a number of John’s originals and two were selected as limited edition prints which both the artist and Alan Ticthmarsh signed. Part of the profits from this collaboration went to supporting primary school gardens around the UK. John and Alan teamed up for a live talk to 500 people at The Eden Project in Cornwall to present the paintings.
"Looking at your own garden through someone else's eyes is always interesting, but when the eyes belong to John Dyer then you hope that he will see something that allows him to use those vibrant colours he has on his palette.
John asked if he could spend a week painting my garden during July. He could not have chosen a worse time in terms of weather - it poured! But in spite of the rain he managed to conjure up some wonderful images.
I worried that my beds and borders would disappoint him after the floral riches of Eden and Tresco, but if that was the case he hid it well, and his canvases show nothing of the foul weather or of Barleywood's possible shortcoming's in the floral department. I kept nipping back to see him in between bursts of filming - partly to apologise for the weather, and partly because I couldn't wait to see how my garden was being translated into paint. And I wasn't disappointed.
As the week progressed, I came to know John and his style of painting rather better, and to marvel at his refreshing optimism in the face of potential meteorological disaster. I would come across him, perched on his low canvas chair, mixing his colours on paper plates and dashing in and out of the pavilion or the greenhouse to avoid the showers. And he never once became grumpy or depressed.
The result of his week with us is a wonderfully refreshing view of Barleywood, all the more poignant for Alison and me in that we are to leave here at the end of the year. But not only do we have great mementos of twenty years of gardening on our Hampshire hill, but we also have a new friend.
It is rare to meet someone who has the same appreciation of atmosphere, colour, texture and the magic that can be created in a garden, and in John we have found someone who understands exactly what we were trying to do. We'll be handing over Barleywood to a new owner, but we will gaze on John's images of our time here, and the garden we created, and shed a happy tear."
Alan Titchmarsh MBE
Painting and Planting a Shared Passion
"We are not all lucky enough to see the true wonder of the world and are therefore not all tempted to dip into the rich creative palette of life and explore the many combinations of music, literature, dance, story telling, food, colour, form, texture and composition. Alan Titchmarsh however is not one of these people and his love of life and art shines through.
I often wonder what people make of me sitting in the landscape, interpreting the world and applying my paint in a way that seems so natural and necessary to me.
My work in recent years has been with the Eden Project and the Tresco Abbey Gardens and the people that I have encountered at these very special places have left me in no doubt as to what they feel; gardeners and artists have the same view of the world and the same simple need to be connected to nature in some way, and this has been the starting point for my new friendship with Alan and his family and the resulting paintings of Barleywood.
The same thought process kicks in if you paint or garden - I might dive for my tube of alizarin crimson whereas Alan might dig in a fantastic Begonia; we are both experimenting with our tools of the trade; colour and composition.
The garden at Barleywood has been slowly nurtured, encouraged, planted, changed, and loved over a period of twenty years. This is Alan Tichmarsh's most personal and physical result of his visual wander lust. He has experimented, let rip, held back, whispered, shouted, cried and planted skyward to the stars.
I arrived at Barleywood via the 32 acres of Bluebell woods that join the top of the garden. The grandly titled head of estate, a Mr Bill Budd, had given me exact directions and was sure enough waiting with a friendly smile and a great cup of tea for me at the top of the garden. The experience of walking into an area you know so well but only through television coverage is always a strange one and for me this was a very strange experience like walking into a Gardeners' World programme.
The very top of Alan's garden is given over to a large potting shed - great for eating sandwiches and having tea in, the 'boffy' which has a small kitchen in and an open sided barn and chicken run. It is all rather more farm than garden and is fenced off from the actual garden. Sue the head gardener also greeted me here before quietly going back to her careful tending of this soon to be sold garden. I asked Sue what she thought about the sale and the fact that what she was now doing was effectively for the next owners. She replied that the garden had been forced onto the natural landscape and that if it all reverted to nature and wilderness that she would be perfectly happy with that. It is this thought that makes you realise how personal a garden is - there really is nothing natural about any garden - and this particular one is totally dependant on Alan as its art director. As soon as he leaves Barleywood it will change - maybe not on day one, but over a period of time it will and this is why the timing of my visit was so meaningful.
Prior to my visit I was worried that the garden may be totally un-painterly, it is very hard to tell watching the television. I also feared that it would be full of endless TV experiments, a bit of bamboo here, a water feature there etc. Well I am glad to say that it isn't. the garden does have a grand design and the Gardeners' World experiments have been fairly well disguised in corners or behind greenhouses. I loved it; it had Alan's personality stamped on it, and when you see it working as a family garden albeit with two full time workers, both of whom are treated as family anyway, you begin to feel quite at home.
As I painted during the week I would have ongoing conversations with Alan, his cats and dog and his family. They welcomed me into their private garden and enjoyed the realisation of my paintings as they emerged from my paints and canvas. A painting does act as a very good vehicle for conversation if the audience is in tune with the artist as it was in this case. I was amazed that Alan even ventured back home to check on the progress of one of the paintings during his filming for the next series of 'How to be a gardener' and it was small events like this during my week that made me realise that I had found one of those rare people in life that thinks and enjoys the world in the same way as myself.
The weather wasn't very kind to me during my week at Barleywood, so the sympathy vote was firmly on my side - it manifested itself in a variety of ways from being allowed to paint from Alan's Pavilion where he writes his novels, to bags of dougnuts from Bill and a kindly umbrella spread across my painting and equipment by Alan himself.
I revisited Alan in his garden a couple of weeks later so that we could both look at the finished paintings. We ended up spending a very enjoyable afternoon discussing art and gardening amongst other things and came to the shared decision to allow this set of work to be available to the loyal followers of Gardeners' World in the form of two co-signed limited editions and through the sale of these it would have the added benefit of raising money to allow Alan to continue his support of the gardens for schools charity.
Alan and I walked back through the garden at which point he stopped; "Look at this, this is very John Dyer" Alan laughed as he held up the most amazing and blousey bright pink Begonia from his greenhouse. It is this connection between art and gardening that I feel is so important and is one that I am sure thousands if not millions of gardeners would share."
Above: Artist John Dyer talking to Kim's two young children Rose and Harry who were enchanted by watching the paintings appear each day.
John Dyer spent a week with Kim Wilde and her family exploring their connections to organic gardening and painting in their garden. The resulting paintings were exhibited at Kim Wilde’s property for a Rock and Roll summer celebration event and also formed the basis of magazine articles. In 2012 the paintings were exhibited by the National Trust for the ‘Global Gardens’ exhibition and project.
“A long awaited ‘tropical garden’ was going to be built the same week as our ‘artist in residence’ had come to paint, and I was worried the mayhem might distract him. He instantly put us at our ease, and wandered off into the garden to find a place to sit and paint. Each day he arrived early, and painted huge canvases full of vibrant colour, and every day we were entranced. Our children were captivated not only by the paintings, but by John himself, who took time to involve them. The results were magical, and perfectly captured the special atmosphere we feel living in this beautiful place, on a hill somewhere in Hertfordshire.
I have always had immense respect for anyone who chooses to take time to interpret our world for us through painting, and feel especially privileged to have hosted such an inspired artist in our back garden !
My lasting memory of him will be of him and his wife Jo jiving wildly at the party which we threw to celebrate the new garden. His paintings decorated our home for the night, but I would have gladly have given them a home for life !”
John Dyer was asked to help to launch the Beat Poverty Campaign for Save the Children at the Eden Project on 7th October 2003. Visitors to the project saw John at work in the Humid Tropics Biome painting a new Eden painting highlighting the importance of rice.
Each person that signed up to the campaign on the day at Eden was included in the historical painting.
The painting, ‘Rice and Hope’, measures 33 x 40 inches, acrylic on board and is now part of the permanent collection of art at Save the Children UK in London.
John Dyer was also the resident artist for the UN year of Rice working at the International Rice Research Institute, IRRI, in the Philippines. Launching the International Year of Rice 2004, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Dr Jacques Diouf, said that “rice is the staple food for over half of the world’s population” but warned that “its production is facing serious constraints.”
Limited Edition Signed prints of the painting were sold through Save The Children and raised in excess of £6000 for the campaign which would have been enough to provide over 500 breeding pairs of sheep/goats to the third world.
“We asked John Dyer to paint bananas because they are a smallholder crop – grown in people’s back gardens and farms along with lots of other fruits and vegetables. John’s pictures are all about diversity and bringing out what might pass unseen. In this case, it seems to have been scorpions!”
“John Dyer, the UK artist much publicized through work with Alan Titchmarsh and the Eden Project, travelled to Costa Rica especially for INIBAP to paint the front cover of this year’s annual report “Jungle bananas”. John Dyer is well known for his exuberant and optimistic paintings that lift the human spirit and explode with colour and life. His portrayal of traditional banana agriculture in Costa Rica is richly illustrative of the animal life that shares the space with growing crops. The Latin American insect fauna evidently made a big impression! John Dyer’s work has made him one of the UK’s most popular artists and is published world wide. As ‘painter in residence’ at the Eden Project, with whom INIBAP works closely, John will hopefully be involved in future projects on banana.”
Charlotte Lusty, International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain.
FAO Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations Feature John Dyer
John Dyer is an artist who has created vibrant paintings in support of a better understanding of the role of tropical crops. He has done work for INIBAP, IPGRI, and the Eden Project (UK). The paintings are mentioned here as the style could have great potential in illustrating agroforestry resources.
John Dyer paints the ethnobotanical story of the rice harvest for IRRI, the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.
“British painter John Dyer produced a series of paintings that interpreted the relationships among people, the rice plant, and the rice ecosystem. The paintings are an extension of the work that John – the painter in residence for the Eden Biodome project in Cornwall – carried out last year for the Save the Children Fund. Painted for the United Nations International Year of Rice, John hopes his paintings will draw attention to the importance of rice and its impact on the environment.”
"IRRI had the pleasure of having an artist in residence as part of the Institute's on-going series of special activities for the International Year of Rice (IYR). Over five days, British painter John Dyer produced a series of paintings that interpreted the relationships among people, the rice plant, and the rice ecosystem. The paintings are an extension of the work that John - the painter in residence for the Eden Biodome project in Cornwall - carried out last year for the Save the Children Fund. Inspired by the IYR, John hopes his paintings will draw attention to the importance of rice and its impact on the environment. John has kindly agreed to provide IRRI with images of all the work they did during their visit to Los Banos to be used as limited edition posters, calendars, book covers, Christmas cards, and other promotional items for the Institute and rice."
"IRRI's wall calendar for 2006 with the theme Rice is life and featuring the acrylic art of British artist John Dyer is selling at a vigorous rate. Mr. Dyer visited IRRI in 2004 during the International Year of Rice and painted six pictures depicting the ethnobotanical relationships within the surrounding rice environment. Sample copies of the calendar have been sent to each OU. Visit your OU secretary or administrative coordinator to take a look or click here to view a pdf of the beautiful 7-page calendar. It'll make a wonderful holiday gift for colleagues, friends, and neighbors." IRRI 2006
Peter Hampel the art director of Eden and John Dyer, Eden’s ‘Painter in Residence’ worked together to facilitate John painting a new ‘iconic’ painting of this huge event. Signed prints available now from The John Dyer Gallery.
“We decided that one key painting would be far more powerful than a series of smaller paintings, so Eden organised a special area for me to work from so that I could see the whole event, feel the music, watch the crowd, but have my own space to create in. I wanted to capture the African energy of the performances and to set this off against the world beating architecture of Eden, and I am delighted by the result.
The painting was taken down into the crowds and caused quite a stir. It is amazing how many people have a digital camera hidden in their pockets ! All of the Eden directors including Tim Smit gathered to see the new painting which was received with great enthusiasm, and I hope that the image of the painting will be used to promote Africa and Eden.”John Dyer 2005.
During April and May John has be joined by a film crew from ITV who have filmed him paintingin the garden at Antony House, and The Tresco Abbey Gardens. The footage will form part of a new series exploring artists and gardens which is due to be screened in October 2005. The film crew also filmed John’s wife Joanne Short and daughter Martha-Lilly Dyer painting in Tresco Abbey Gardens
“THE PAINTED GARDEN takes us on a journey through some of the most important gardens in the region and beyond which continue to inspire today. The series also takes the opportunity to celebrate the work of some of the region’s most popular artists, such as John Dyer, who has been greatly inspired by the colours and structures of gardens. Joining Chris are artist garden historian Toby Musgrave, art historian Sam Smiles and garden designer Penelope Hobhouse.”
John worked in the outback painting the wildlife stories connected to the project. The residency was organised by the Eden Project who were working with Banrock Station at the time. Banrock Station wine give a percentage of their profits back to environmental causes around the world. They have nearly 100 initiatives that they support establishing wildlife reserves and re-introducing animals back to the wild.
John Dyer was flow to Adelaide in south Australia and then driven north deep into the outback along the Murray river to the Banrock Station vineyard. The landscape at Banrock Station has been defined by agriculture and animal management. In the past cattle were introduced and they destroyed the landscape and polluted the river. Banrock re-established nature's system and brought the wetlands back to life by introducing a flood and dry cycle that had been broken by artificial dams. Banrock takes only a small amount of water and drip feeds the vines. The rest is allowed to irrigate the wetlands as it always did. The results have been spectacular.
The biodiversity of this part of Australia has followed the water and many species of birds and animals have returned. Some of the more delicate animals like the bilbie have had to be breed and reintroduced slowly into protected areas of the reserve so that cats and foxes can be kept away. John has captured a bilbie in one of his paintings, they have distinctive pink noses.
Banrock have planted many trees and one of John's paintings shows the first time the new baby red gums were flooded. Each of John's paintings explored a key story at Banrock and the wildlife and landscape.
“‘John Dyer’s visit was a pleasure and his paintings of Banrock are truly inspirational. His use of colour and the animals and plants he has featured in his pictures are fantastic… They are just like Banrock…..the more you look the more you discover!” Tony Sharley. Manager of Banrock Station
The final exhibition of work was displayed at a special evening event at the Eden Project with over 600 people attending to listen to the artist and see the new works. The manager of Banrock Station flew over to co-present with the artist and Banrock kindly supplied all the wine to entertain the crowds. The evening was hosted by Tim Smit the co-founder of the Eden Project.
Above: 'Gateway to Cornwall' 24 x 24 inches acrylic on canvas.
John Dyer was appointed as the Artist in Residence for the UK's Brunel 200 celebrations in the South West of England.
John Dyer was commissioned with funding from Brunel 200, an initiative of Bristol Cultural Development Partnership the Arts Council England South West, Heritage Lottery Fund, Bristol City Council and Business West with Famouth Art Gallery to paint a new celebratory painting for Brunel 200. The artist travelled to Plymouth to make the new painting called 'Gateway to Cornwall'.
The painting features the Royal Albert Bridge at Plymouth designed by Brunel.
"Brain Stewart, the director of Falmouth Art Gallery, asked me to take on this commission and we spent a day together in the cafe at Paradise Park in Cornwall discussing ideas while our children played. Brian was very keen to incorporate many themes and ideas into the final piece and I sketched out a rough composition and list of ideas on a paper napkin we had. The painting is autobiographical in many ways and features my cat jess and my wife and I with our daughter Martha-Lilly as the focal point in the foreground. Plymouth celebrated the event wth a firework display so that informed my colours and selection of a nocturne for the final piece. I completed my preparations for the painting in Plymouth looking back towards the magnificent Royal Albert Bridge." John Dyer
The painting was purchased by the nation and now forms part of the permanent collection of art at Falmouth Art Gallery in Cornwall.
John Dyer artist in residence at the Giardini Hanbury, Italy
Above: 'Love under the Moon, Giardini Hanbury, Italy' 33 x 40 inches acrylic on board
In 2007 John Dyer moved with his family to the Côte d’Azur to live in Menton about 40 minutes from Monaco. Carolyn Hanbury of the Giardini Hanbury kindly lent them the original primary school at La Mortola to use as a studio for two years. This studio overlooked the wonder Giardini Hanbury . The final exhibition of paintings was held in Monaco.
“Joanne Short and John Dyer are two of Cornwall’s best loved artists. Their work has now gained a strong international following. Although their styles are uniquely individual and instantly recognisable, every place they visit throughout the world takes their work in new and exciting directions. Both artists are able to absorb the joys and wonders of each area and can capture the true character of a locality. Their year on the Côte d’Azur has successfully produced some of their most exciting work. The exotic flora, bright Mediterranean colours and spectacular landscapes have been interpreted by Jo and John in very different, but complimentary ways. Jo skilfully captures the landscape in rich intricate patterns, weaving a tapestry of colour that delights the eye. John captures the essence of a locality with great love and humour. Swimmers, sunbathers, dogs and seagulls are all portrayed with his characteristic zest for life. The two artists share an amazing ability to paint pictures that can transform the atmosphere in positive ways.
Living with their work on a daily basis, like I and so many collectors do, it is impossible not to be uplifted every time one enters the room.
I hope you enjoy this collection from the Riviera as much as I do.”
Above: John Dyer in Ginza, Tokyo with his new triptych "Love Story" which is proving popular with the Collectors in Japan.
John Dyer toured Japan in 2007 when his work was exhibited across 9 galleries from Kyoto to Tokyo. Making public appearances and personally signing photos for his many Japanese fans.
An exhibition titled “Happy Summer Paradise” has been on tour in nine of Japan’s most prestigious gallery spaces in Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka & Tokyo. John Dyer made personal appearances at six of the venues.
One of the galleries is in the world famous ‘Matsuya’ store in the Ginza district of Tokyo. This store and the district are the equivalent of Park Avenue in New York and is the center for business and high quality retail and art outlets.
“This has been a fantastic experience for me – people have travelled from all over Japan to meet me on the tour and it has been incredibly interesting to listen to my new Japanese collectors discussing my work. We have launched a vibrant new range of limited edition prints in Japan to accompany the exhibition and the images of St Ives and the Helford Passage are very popular. Many collectors are buying my print of the Helford Passage with a yellow sky to hang on the west wall of their homes as in Japan a yellow sky hung on the West will will bring the family good fortune.” John Dyer.
"The Japanese are very familiar with the UK, London and Harry Potter but they have never come across Cornwall before so this has been an amazing opportunity to promote Cornwall as a destination. We are sure that many people from Japan will now be looking into traveling to Cornwall as a holiday destination to track down the famous John Dyer Seagulls and the amazing tropical plants that grow here. With nine galleries in the top retail locations in Japan actively promoting John's work and Cornwall as a destination this is bound to have an impact." The John Dyer Gallery.
"We are delighted with the work of John Dyer, in Japan we usually promote western artists for 3 to 5 years before embarking on a tour, but in the case of John's work this has been put together in under a year due to the popularity of his unique style of work. We already have plans to expand the range and we have commissioned the artist to paint a new painting called 'St Ives Happy New Year' that we will launch in December" Art Director of Hibell
John travelled to Japan with his family and his wife, artist Joanne Short. The John Dyer Gallery will be exhibiting works inspired from this trip towards the end of this year and the exhibition will include work from both John and Joanne. The artists found the blend of culture, ancient temples, geisha and the high tech skyscrapers fascinating. While in Japan the family also experienced an earthquake and narrowly missed the largest cyclone Japan has ever seen in July.
Tour dates and venues July 14th Sat Daimara - Kyoto 79 Shijo Takakura Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-city 600-8511
July 15th Sun Daimara - Kobe /Hyogo 40 Akashi-cho Kobe-city Hyogo 650-0037
John Dyer and Joanne Short - Artists in Residence for National Trust St Michael' Mount
In 2007 John Dyer was invited to be the artist in residence with artist Joanne Short on St Michael’s Mount. The artists lived on the island for a full week and were able to experience the true magic of the island. It was a unique project and the final exhibition was held on St Michael’s Mount.
“It is a great pleasure to host this exhibition by John Dyer and Joanne Short, which is a product of their stay on St Michael’s Mount during May last year. While the island as a whole has been painted exhaustively over the years, the gardens and grounds have received much less attention. I am delighted therefore to see the gardens given their due and depicted so vividly in these paintings. It is a new venture for us to hold an event like this in the Island and I hope you enjoy the venue. The Café sits next to the entrance to the gardens, which I hope you might visit also to see some of the subject matter that inspired the artistic work on show.”
Above: 'Tall Ships and Small Ships 2008' 33 x 40 inches acrylic on board.
In 2008 John Dyer as appointed as the official artist in residence for the Funchal 500 Tall Ships Regatta in Falmouth. John worked on a large number of new tall ships inspired paintings which were exhibited at a special exhibition event at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
John's feature painting 'Tall Ships and Small Ships 2008' was used for the branding of the regatta as well as being released as the official limited edition print.
The vibrant painting features Mexican colours and themes and features the Mexican tall ship ARM Cuauhtémoc. Palm trees, banana plants and flowers create a sense of carnival and heat. John captured the essence of this great event with his unique way of exploring the world in paint. The clouds give a fantastic sense of space and we feel as if we are looking not only across the harbour and through the town but also from above. Sailors stand on the masts and rigging, seals pop their heads up from the ocean and in the foreground the artist and his wife Joanne Short can be seen lazing on a picnic rug. An autobiographical celebration painting.
Above: John Dyer pictured with Girlguides from Falmouth for the press launch of the centenary art project
John Dyer was asked by Girlguiding South West England to complete an important new celebration painting for the centenary of the guides in 2009/2010
“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with the celebrated Cornish artist, John Dyer. John’s paintings are contemporary, vibrant, fun and full of life, qualities which could equally apply to Guiding as we reach our Centenary.” Gill Slocombe Chief Commissioner.
John created a triptych painting that celebrates the Centenary. Each painting focuses on one of the ages of guiding – The first painting features mainly Rainbows, the second Brownies and finally the Guides around a roaring camp fire.
A successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund has led the Falmouth Art Gallery to receive an award of £50,000 to undertake a year long project to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin (1809-1882).
Part of the award has been used to fund John Dyer to be the resident artist for Darwin 200 working with Newquay Zoo. The John Dyer Gallery is working with Falmouth Art Gallery on this exciting project.
“Little known is the fact that Darwin sent specimens throughout his voyage back to this country via Falmouth and the packet ships. The Beagle finally returned to Falmouth on October 2, 1836, and so the town is central to the Darwin story and the publication of The Origin of Species, both of which are celebrated worldwide."
Brian Stewart, curator Falmouth Art Gallery, UK 2009.
Artist in Residence: John Dyer
Partners: The John Dyer Gallery, Falmouth Art Gallery, The National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Newquay Zoo, CIP Peru, Darwin 200, Penlee House
Comments from parents and children involved in the Children's project:
“A great morale boost for children”
“I hope you have some more competitions. I LOVE ART!”
“She came out walking on cloud nine”
“it is so good to see children involved in art at such a young age”
“Thanks for the competition – he loved doing the picture and we all love the results”
"My Darwin 200 year has taken me around the world. I explored the high Andes in Peru, painted a series of bird paintings which were used for the ballet in France, helped to inspire nearly 200 children to paint their own Darwin paintings and of course I have had the most marvelous experiences on my days at the Zoo in Newquay with my easel covered in lemurs and my feet being nibbled by meerkats ! I hope the paintings will inspire and excite and that they will bring continued enjoyment to those who choose to adopt them for the future."
"During May 2009 for the United Nations Year of the Potato, CIP hosted the UK artist John Dyer in Peru while he visited the Potato Park in Pisac, and Puno and Lake Titicaca, to paint scenes of the Peruvian potato harvest, life surrounding potatoes in the Andes and the potato festival in Taquile.
The result is a series of delightful images that CIP will be making good use of in the future. John Dyer is one of the UK’s most well-known open-air painters. His work is collected internationally and his paintings have been the subject of popular television programs and a wide range of merchandise. He is also one of the UK’s best known international environmental artists.”
John Dyer was selected to appear in the prestigious Monte-Carlo SBM Film “One year in Monte-Carlo”.The new film, by film maker Jeff Lehalle, focuses on the ‘Art of Living’ in the principality of Monaco. Part of the promotional film features the Monaco Classic week and includes footage of artist John Dyer painting the amazing sailing boats and sparkling mediterranean waters. The film is shown on the official Visit Monaco web site each year in September/October and is also screened all around the Principality of Monaco.
“My new painting, that features in this prestigious film, is part of a new collection of work based on Monte-Carlo and the classic boats. It was a great experience working with Jeff on this sequence and to interpret this world class event onto canvas.” John Dyer 2010.
In 2011 artist John Dyer was appointed as the artist in residence for the Falmouth Oyster Festival and asked to inspire hundreds of children with his work across the local schools.
Working with creative director John Frankland children were asked to design a large Oyster Festival man that would be built to lead the annual Oyster Festival carnival parade. John Dyer selected the winning entry and incorporated the puppet into his new Oyster Festival painting.
The full working and animated puppet was presented to a live audience together with John's painting and the official limited edition prints that are available of it.
"This was such a brilliant project, using the food culture and history of Falmouth in inform an arts project across the local schools that resulted in a wonderful parade, a full scale animatd puppet and a new painting that features both the parade and the puppet. Wow !" John Dyer.
John Dyer was appointed as the artist in residence for the Gyllyngdune Gardens in Falmouth as part of their Heritage Lottery funded re-development. The artist produced a new series of original paintings based on the gardens, the bandstand and the amazing plants from all over the world that grow in Falmouth. These new paintings formed the basis of a national art project for children to produce their own garden paintings. All of the resulting work (520 pieces of children's art) was exhibited at the Gyllyngdune Gardens and on the John Dyer Gallery web site. Part of the project involved workshops for children at Trelissick Gardens with artist John Dyer and also workshops in Gyllyngdune gardens and Falmouth Art Gallery. Three exhibitions of John Dyer's paintings were held, one at the Gyllyngdune Gardens of his Falmouth work, one with the National Trust at Trelissick gardens of his garden paintings from around the UK and one with Falmouth Art Gallery of his ethnobotanical paintings of crop harvests. Each exhibition showcased a different selection of the artists work.
The project was run in conjunction with Kim Wilde, The National Trust, Falmouth Art Gallery, Gyllyngdune Gardens and the Packet Newspapers.
"Encouraging our children to appreciate the natural world around them is a wonderful way to stimulate and excite them, as well as educate them. I have encouraged both our children into the garden since they were toddlers, treating the garden as an extension of our house.
Out there in the sunshine we have played, planted and painted together, the garden serving as a family space to spend quality time with each other…time for us all to smell the roses in our otherwise busy lives!
I am really excited to see the paintings for the Global Garden project, and delighted John asked me to be involved. We loved having him stay here a few years back, where he painted a series of stunning canvases of our beloved garden. I have a lovely photo of John, Rose (5) and Harry (7) crouching over one of John's paintings, which hangs in Rose's room as a reminder of an inspiring few days in our summer garden."
Artist John Dyer ws appointed as the artist in residence for the Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta.
It all Started with One Painting... ‘Tall Ships and Small Ships’ by John Dyer
John Dyer, the artist in residence for the Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta, had run previous art projects to celebrate Darwin 200, Global Gardens, Girlguiding Centenary and the Tall Ships Regatta 2008. Working with John Frankland who had created a storytelling project for Tall Ships 2008 and Shop For Theatre that placed professional actors to perform, ‘stories, poems and plays to delight and distract’, in small spaces such as shops and in the back of cars.
John Dyer's painting inspired five professional writers, Paul Farmer, Maxwell Golden, James Graham, Damien Dibben and Dea Birkett to interpret the painting and create their own story, poem or play. The painting together with the inspired professional writing providied the creative stimulus for children from across the UK and beyond to make their own paintings and pieces of creative writing for the project and engaged thousands of families in the Tall Ships Regatta 2014.
Falmouth Art Gallery offered free creative workshops to both schools and community groups in the Gallery and as outreach in schools. This directly inspired 1300 children in 18 schools to connect with the project and to be motivated to respond. It also demonstrated the power of the Arts to directly engage the local community with the whole event.
John Dyer's Spirit of the Rainforest residency with the Eden Project, Survival International and Amazon Indian Nixiwaka Yawanawá was a world first and heralds a new genre of art - Amazon Indian Art.
In May 2015 John embarked on an extraordinary artistic and personal journey into the spirit world of the Yawanawá tribe of the Amazon Rainforest. Up until this point in time the tribe's spirits had not been shared with the western world and Nixiwaka Yawanawá took the brave step of allowing artist John Dyer to understand and explore the spirits of the Amazon with him.
For two weeks the artists worked together at the Eden Project. Nixiwaka had never used western paints or canvases or brushes before this experience. John tutored Nixiwaka in how to handle the paints and provided a range of colours and materials for him to work with.
Each morning the two artists would start work early. Nixiwaka entered the rainforest biome and walked quietly through the jungle to locate a particular spirit. A drawing would be made by Nixiwaka and he explained in detail which spirit he felt in the plants and the connection the spirit has to the tribe. This knowledge is sacred tribal knowledge and this project is the first time that the spirits have been painted not only by an Amazon Indian but by a British artist too.