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Personal profile


John was born in Blackpool in 1954; he studied at the Royal College of Art and worked a ‘war artist’ commissioned by the Imperial War Museum, taught at a number of art colleges in the UK. Since 1996 he has been Head of Department of Design and Visual Arts at Coventry University School of Art and Design.

He has exhibited widely in UK and abroad, with works in a number of public and private collections, including the Unilever Collection, Ocean Transport and Trade PLC, Coventry University, The Imperial War Museum, British Council collections in Oviedo and Las Palmas.

His exhibitions and accolades include:

  • 1995: ‘The Discerning Eye Exhibition: Mall Galleries London’ selected by David Lee
  • 1995: Exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the BP Portrait award: Painting entitled: ‘In the house of the cellist’
  • 2005: Shortlisted for the Garrick Milne Prize for Theatrical Portraiture: Painting entitled: ‘The juvenile lead’
  • 2013: Most recently, shortlisted for the BP Portrait award 2013. Painting entitled ‘The uncertain time’

Vision Statement

My REF research is inspired by an ongoing interest in the practice of painting and related theories of representation and depiction. My aim is to resolve a body of work which is contextualised in terms of testing the impact and viability of figurative painting in the digital age. My research is also concerned with fine art pedagogy and the differing models of practice, which coexist in the world of contemporary art practice.

Education/Academic qualification

Fine Art, MA, Royal College of Art

30 Sep 197728 Jun 1980

External positions

Professor, Royal Birmigham Society of Artists (RBSA)

1 Jun 2018 → …

External Examiner, University of Central Lancashire

4 May 201830 Sep 2022


  • ND Painting
  • Representational
  • figuration
  • painting

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where John Devane is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Research Output

  • Visual Imagination and touch: the painted mark in representational painting

    Devane, J., 2 Apr 2019. 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

  • Activities

    • 3 Participation in conference


    John Devane (Speaker)
    1 Nov 20154 Nov 2015

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    7th International Conference of Arts in Society

    John Devane (Speaker)
    1 Jul 2012

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    5th International Conference on the Arts in Society

    John Devane (Speaker)
    22 Jul 201025 Jul 2010

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


    BP Portrait Prize

    John Devane (Recipient), 20 Jun 2013

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)