John Devane

Research activity per year

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, Painting, Royal College of Art

30 Sept 197728 Jun 1980

Award Date: 30 Jun 1980

External positions

Professor, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA)

1 Jun 2018 → …

External Examiner, University of Central Lancashire

4 May 201830 Sept 2022


  • ND Painting
  • Representational
  • figuration
  • painting


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