Paul Godbold in conversation with artist Timothy John
For as long as he can remember Australian born artist, Timothy John has responded to the world visually, jokingly he claims to suffer from a self-named self-diagnosed disease, C.T.S. or more specifically Creative Tourette Syndrome.
“I tend to have outbursts of creativity at inappropriate moments”
John laughingly jokes over a glass of fine red wine in his modest home’s courtyard garden, a home which he shares with partner of over 30 years, Lorraine Nelson.
“Many times my pen has been put to use on the tablecloth at a restaurant, or on a menu, if the urge strikes. When C.T.S. kicks in, nothing is safe…ink, wine, good food and good conversation have been known to bring on rampant episodes of C.T.S!”
John recently turned 55 years old, and is happy to be there.
“My Father died at the age of 54, that was a big thing for me, not only losing him at such an early age (for him and me), but I had this feeling of impending doom as I approached that same age last year. I got through it unscathed and now I feel free of the Voodoo number 54, which is a BIG relief!”
Known as a painter of canvases for exhibition and commissions, over the past 5 or so years, John has spread his creative wings to explore working in the arena of luxury goods.
“I love beautiful ‘things’, from watches, to pens, cars, fashion, fragrances, anything that is well made or designed, excites me. My love of watches started when my Dad (who used to travel extensively with his work), returned home from a business trip, I was about 10 years old and he gave me my first watch, a SEIKO 5 on a steel bracelet, it was so great, I treasured it, and from that point on, I had an insatiable love of watches.”
When asked about his artistic collaborations within the world of luxury goods his answer is simple as he announces –
“Again, I blame the dreaded C.T.S. rearing its head.”
“I love challenging myself, stepping outside of my role as the painter at the easel, and explore working within the framework of someone else’s medium, it excites me, it really does. I see a fountain pen, or a watch, or a handbag, and it sets me thinking, how could I adapt my eye, my vision and my images to those objects, how could I bring something to them and maybe a new sense of meaning.”
“I never want to impose myself onto the brands I love. The reason I love them is because of ‘their’ profile, I just want to enhance, I would never wish to impose, that is not my style”
What about current work, and interesting projects?
“Well 2014 will kick off with the release of two projects I finished last last year. There is an edition of 4 unique hand painted pens for Montegrappa ‘The Four Seasons’, which are very special, and also due for release are 4 unique hand painted watches ‘The Elements – Earth Wind Fire and Water’ for AOS Watches (Arthur Oskar Stampfli) of Switzerland. Both projects were extremely satisfying to do, as they are unique works which will have appeal to collectors, plus I also got to work with some fantastic people including Giuseppe Aquila of Montegrappa, Roland Stampfli and Jonathan Kopp of AOS.”
“I’m also working on a limited edition silk scarf, which will also be released in the first quarter of this year. It is a really interesting process, as this will be the first time I’ve produced a luxury item under my own signature. There will only be 50 scarves created worldwide, currently they’ll only be available directly through website enquiries. There has been a lot of interest so far, which is a good omen for future releases.”
So, if the Montegrappa ‘Four Seasons’ pens and the AOS ‘Elements’ watches are unique pieces, meaning that these are the only pieces existing in the world, how will they be made available for purchase?
“Actually, I am unsure of the process for purchase of the pieces, I hope the ‘Four Seasons’ pens are sold as a complete set to a collector, and in my perfect world, the 4 ‘Elements’ watches would also be sold as a set, (but that may not be practical). If any of your readers are interested, they could contact Montegrappa and A.O.S direct and register their interest.”
When asked what the future holds, John is a little subdued.
“With regards to both exhibition work and work within the luxury brand sector, the future is very exciting, with some nice opportunities in the pipeline, but unfortunately nothing that can be discussed at the moment. I will be dividing my time between the painting studio and the luxury goods work. I am truly blessed to be able to do what I love doing, creating things of beauty and meeting wonderful people along the way.”
Timothy’s work can be viewed at www.timothyjohn.com.au