John's work is very expressive and contemporary. People of different cultures is a popular theme and a lot of his works are figurative, reflecting his own awareness of the unique spirituality, grace and unobtrusiveness of the people of various cultures in their landscapes. This is always a great source of inspiration.
John is seen by some as being “one of Australia’s most exciting artists” (John Norris – Director, Prime Arts Publishing UK), while his works have been referred to as “possessing the exquisite line and colour of a Matisse”.
Select Works by John Maitland
Reimagining - December 2017
It’s a long time now since my teacher told us to open a school book on Australia. It had a brown cover with matching brown pictures on the inside which were so boring they burnt a hole in my mind! This led me to stare at the classroom clock, counting the ticks to make the time go faster. No one could be moved to travel here after that schoolboy encounter. There was no silver or gold in that geographic manual and Indigenous peoples were linked to the stone age!
A few years later, it was the cover of a travel brochure which ignited my interest in Australia. A beautiful seafood platter, boasting a red emperor fish. Since that time, I have been captivated by Australia’s colours and, of course, its people! Its golden landscape paired with silvery sunsets, the grace of our indigenous people and not to mention their unique and dynamic art that one now can access in most capital city galleries worldwide.
I myself was entranced by the Central Desert art exhibition at AGNSW in 2000, and I openly acknowledge that I was greatly influenced by the looseness, depth, drama, and textural quality of those works. Although I would never imitate indigenous art, I was enthralled at seeing something totally different which gave me the means to explore and reimagine my own works from a base point where I couldn't paint because the colours and landscape were so foreign to me, I was then given the tools to capture the very soul of the Australian landscape and its peoples.