John Smyth – 7 Windows Exhibition


I have always seen my work as a blend of the modern and the old or traditional. My love of traditional figurative painting manifests in the controlled naturalistic handling of my models. The more abstract and decorative elements surrounding and often encroaching over these figures is, in the most part, an influence of more modern abstract painting, but also of the decorative qualities found in art nouveau and byzantine art.

These recent works on copper are inspired by the Dutch masters, such as Rembrandt, who would often use copper as the ground for their paintings. With these pieces I have left areas of exposed copper and used chemicals to accelerate a patina which adds fantastic aged texture and colour to the abstract elements of the pieces.

I believe that the balance between realism and abstraction creates a visual and conceptual balance in my work. In these new pieces, which are unmistakably modern in their aesthetic, I particularly enjoy the visual play between the ‘new’ shiny copper and the ‘old’ aged green copper, as well as the nod to the techniques of the Dutch masters.

John Smyth


Hand in Hand



Commitment and Craft


Hand in Hand 2

Craft and Commitment