Exhibiting member (NSW)


Mediums: Oil, sculpture

Subjects: Historic sailing ships, maritime history, yachting on Sydney harbour, working horses, Australiana.

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John Cornwell

John Cornwell

From his early childhood, the creation of ‘art-work’ was John’s passion; growing up in the 1930s on the shores of Sydney Harbour, he was surrounded by maritime activity and he became very knowledgeable about marine matters. Much of his leisure time was spent over the years sailing in a variety of craft.

He had the good fortune to have three years full time tuition at the National Art School on a scholarship. After trying several occupations on the land – which he loved – it was the lure of art that drew him back to the city where he had a screen-printing and design business for eighteen years. He travelled widely, and visited the great galleries as well as numerous marine museums, then at the age of forty, he risked his own and his family’s future and took up painting as a full time career.

Although very much influenced by the Old Masters, and the French and Australian Impressionists, he developed his own style of representational painting and sculpture, recording not only the beauties of nature that surround him, but as a descendant of early Australian settlers, he also illustrates the toil and pleasures of life on the land and sea and he has become very well-known for his paintings of working horses.

John loves sculpture and one of his best-known works is “Trim”, the cat who travelled with Matthew Flinders on the journey to chart the Australian coastline. The bronze casting stands on the outside windowsill of the NSW State Library, opposite his master’s statue in the forecourt.

In the year 2000 John was invited to represent the continent of Australia at the Muscat Festival in Oman, in the Global Art Exhibition.

Contact details

See www.johncornwell.com.au