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John Duffin

John Duffin's prints of urban environments capture the dynamism and energy of modern city life, chronicling the narratives of contemporary living.

As a printmaker I work mainly in the medium of etching, all my prints depicting the urban environment that I have been using as my subject matter for nearly 30 years. As a trained Draughtsman and Naval Architect who was educated at Goldsmiths’ College alongside the YBA’s I have distilled an approach to urban imagery that is formed from my architectural and Fine Art training.

My prints are the product of many hours drawing with a 2B pencil in sketchbooks and on scraps of paper in the city, the subjects are places that have played a role in my life at some point, sites of meetings, departures, good and bad memories, old friendships and lost times. This life experience is what I am really after in my prints.

In the studio, I draw on my years in the Shipyard Drawing Office and utilize my naval architecture training to begin to distort and visualise the subject matter to become not only what I saw but also more importantly what I felt, creating urban dramas from the architecture and lighting of the city. The figures in my work always arrive at the end of the composition, they give meaning and resonance to the spaces and I deliberate for weeks on the placing of a lone figure, a cast shadow or wet reflection, every mark has to be just right to make the composition act on the viewer’s psyche as the original location acted upon mine.


Next at the Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead 2024