Antony John


Antony John was born in Gilfach Goch, Wales, May 16, 1960. After moving to Canada in 1970, he graduated from the University of Guelph with an Honours B. Sc. in Wildlife Biology. He married Tina Vanden Heuvel and started dairy farming with her father in 1984, in Sebringville, ON. They subsequently bought a farm, and in 1993 started growing organic vegetables under the name “Soiled Reputation”.

Inspired by his father, a draughtsman, a young Antony would use discarded plan drawings to sketch upon. As a teenager, he began to branch out into other mediums and, after seeing Alex Colville’s work, settled on acrylics. His paintings examine the emotional and moral effects that generate tension and unrest in the controlled, ordered world of farming and the elements that must be addressed before a state of grace is achieved. It is the uncertainty of life’s struggle, Antony feels most compelled to paint about.

Specifically, unease in an environment, through the dualities of the agricultural world where he works, and a wild world where he often finds himself a visitor. Order and chaos, known and unknown, observer and participant, good and evil, grace and unrest, all are fulcrums upon which the artist balances his life. Ultimately it is this duality of life as farmer and painter that constitutes Antony’s personal quest for equilibrium.

Antony has received numerous juried show awards (London regional Art Gallery, Perth Huron Arts Council Award, Tom Thompson Juried Exhibition, Sarnia Public Art Gallery), has held exhibitions at The Perimeter Institute, Gallery Stratford, the Agora Gallery and The University of Guelph Faculty Lounge. He has lectured at both the Perimeter Institute and The Art Gallery of Ontario, and his work has been discussed in the National Post, the Toronto Star, and numerous periodicals and television.