A native of Dublin, Ireland, John Ward immigrated to Canada in 1969. At age seventeen he finished school to work professionally as a scenery artist for film and theatre.  On arrival in Toronto he worked briefly as an illustrator, working for most of Canada’s major magazines, before quitting in 1974 to paint full-time.  In 1974 he exhibited with The New York Illustrators Society.  The urban subject matter of his early work was superseded by an aggressive focus on nature.  Indeed, since the late 1980s, his paintings reflect what he calls “Entering Nature”.  In Ward’s words, “As I went further into that place . . .  I realized that my subject matter ultimately became a vehicle for light, colour, and the mystery that surrounds us. The symbolic use of vivid colours and the contrasts between black and white convey a duality, both foreboding of the potential death of our planet and my own sense of hope and joy in nature. I will keep going where it takes me.”


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