John Mutsaers in his studioBorn in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, in 1942 John arrived in Melbourne in 1956. He comes from generations of artists on both sides of his family. His earliest memory of being rewarded for his artwork was when his kindergarten teacher pinned his drawing of a boy standing next to a gushing open water tap on the classroom wall. He was five at that time. “I don’t remember the name of the nun but I believe that her encouragement was the impetus to my career today”. He can recall that drawing well enough to reproduce it.

John has held 36 solo exhibitions including a successful London exhibition in 2006 and a group show in Shanghai with the Australian Trade Commission in 2008. His first international success was a sculpture based on C J Dennis’ poem, ‘The Sentimental Bloke’, which was sold in New York in 1994.

John is currently working on a series of paintings about the human right to freedom and how each person, because of their different life experiences and culture, understands the nature of freedom from their own perspective. Because freedom in the world is such a nebulous and recurrent thing, often imposed by autocracy, and even our own mindset, John calls the series, ‘The Infinite Birdcage’.

See more of John’s work at