Much of the imagery John draws on revisits childhood memories, particularly of playing amongst the apple trees and vegetable patch in his grandparent’s large Kent garden. Further knowledge came from gazing at illustrations in a small childhood book collection, chiefly from the Observer series and Ladybird Nature books.

These early experiences have left a lasting impression of the beauty and  fragility yet resilience of nature. John considers nature’s point of view above mankind’s need to understand and control it which is often at odds with the natural world.

Dilnot studied Graphic Design at Canterbury College of Art, followed by Fine Art Painting at Camberwell School of Art in the early 1980’s. John focused on screen printing, exploring sequential imagery, which led to his first artists’ books.
He also made boxes at this time, which featured in his degree show installation. John’s box works have since become very collectable.

John has shown in many mixed and survey shows including the V&A Museum, Tate Gallery, RA Summer Exhibition, Cornerhouse Manchester, Bluecoat Liverpool and The National Trust. Solo shows include ‘Natural History’ at Rebecca Hossack Gallery, ‘In the Country’ with Southern Arts Touring and ‘Rural Views’ at Aytoun Gallery Manchester.

He has work in many private and public collections. Public collections include, Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Library, British Library, Museum of Modern Art New York, Yale Center for British Art, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Royal College of Art Library, Winchester School of Art, University of Brighton and Hampshire County Council.


Out of the Trees and into the wood 1985


A Home for Max Ernst box work 1988


installation at Cornerhouse Manchester 1991


Night billboard Liverpool 1992


More Wet Weather construction 1996


Born Margate, Kent

1976-1979 Canterbury College of Art and Design, Diploma in Graphic Design
1981-1984 Camberwell School of Art and Crafts, Degree in Fine Art
1985-1986 Camberwell School of Art and Crafts, Postgraduate Printmaking

2014 Yale Collection of British Art USA – one off boxes for their collection
2007 Tate Publishing - Christmas card design
2007 Crafts Magazine - book promotion
2007 Camden Council - trophy design and production
1998 Buckingham County Museum - Endangered Species cupboard
1996 Merseytravel - set of three environmental paintings
1995 University of Bradford - design and produce wallpaper

2017 Arts Council - research and development award
2009 Brighton Festival Award - Selector's Choice Overall Winner
2001 South East Arts Board - production award
1994 North West Arts Board - production award
1992 Merseyside Arts - production award

Solo Exhibitions
2018 OUT OF PRINT Bower Ashton Library UWE Bristol
2017 STICKS & STONES new paintings Frank Whitstable
2017 OUT OF PRINT R-Space Gallery Lisburn Northern Ireland -Book Retrospective
2015 NATURAL ORDER Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Illinois United States
2010 NATURAL HISTORY Rebecca Hossack Gallery London
2009 Cuttings Frank Whitstable
2003 Books Centre for Fine Print Research UWE Bristol
2000 Books Hove Museum and Art Gallery
1998 Country Fresh Buckinghamshire County Museum Aylesbury
1996 In The Country Southern Arts touring show
1995 Rural Views Aytoun Gallery Manchester
1995 To The Country Hope Street Gallery Liverpool John Moores University
1992 Night billboard poster project Liverpool
1991 Estate installation and bookwork Oldham Art Gallery
1990 Stock installation and bookwork 109 Charing Cross Road London

From 2006 to 2012 I was represented by the Rebecca Hossack Gallery who took my work to many art fairs in UK. and abroad.
I have participated in Chelsea Craft Fair and Origin and regularly participate in both The Small Publishers Fair, London Artists Book Fair and Brighton Art Fair.
For many years I had an open house exhibition during the Brighton Festival in May and at Christmas.

  • Selected Group Exhibitions

    2024 Screen Print 2024, An international exhibition of screen printed work, Centrespace Gallery Bristol
    2022 International Original Print Exhibition, RE Royal Society of Painter Printmakers - Bankside
    Gallery London
    2022 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
    2021 Undersea Overland, Atelier Beside the Sea, Brighton. With Jo Riddell, Katie Mawson, Becky Blair
    2020 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
    2019 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition -2 artworks
    2014 Of Green Leaf, Bird and Flower, Yale Collection of British Art USA
    2012 Entomology, Lotte Inch Gallery,York
    2012 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
    2011 Cutting Edge, Mottisfont, National Trust
    2011 Fry Art Gallery Annual sale
    2011 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
    2010 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
    2009 Make Believe Zetter Hotel London
    2008 Summer Show Yorkshire Sculpture Park
    2008 Mapping the Imagination Victoria and Albert Museum
    2008 Press and Release Phoenix Gallery Brighton
    2007 Present(ing) London Print Studio Gallery
    2006 Made Yorkshire Sculpture Park
    2005 Arcadia Id Est A touring exhibition of artists' books curated by Sarah Bodman
    2000 Repetivity Plymouth Arts Centre
    1999 Books by Artists 1989-1999 UWE Bristol
    1996 Pulse Bluecoat Liverpool
    1995 Artists' Books Tate Gallery London
    1995 Volcano Fruitmarket Gallery Edinburgh
    1995 Padded Wallpaper University of Bradford Gallery
    1995 Exploring Book Art Glynn Vivian Art Gallery Swansea
    1995 New Books from America and Europe Workfortheeyetodo London
    1995 Jolly Peril Paradise Castlefield Gallery Manchester
    1995 Mapping Knowledge The Minories Colchester
    1994 Best Before : Display Until Zwemmer Tate Liverpool
    1994 Tim Barker & John Dilnot Everyman Theatre Liverpool
    1994 House Liverpool John Moores University
    1993 Threshold Hardware Gallery London
    1992 A Pool of Signs Bluecoat Gallery Liverpool
    1991 New Art : North West Cornerhouse Manchester
    1988 Curved Space Hardware Gallery London
    1986 British Council Collection of Books Vienna
    1984 Low-Tech Coracle Press London
    1982 Portrait Award National Portrait Gallery London

Survey Publications
Artists' Books Collection 2007 Winchester School of Art Library
Creating Artists' Books Printmaking Handbook Sarah Bodman A&C Black 2005
Artists Book Yearbook 1994-1995 (and onwards) Magpie Press 1995
British Artists Books a survey 1983-1993 Estamp 1993

In the Country catalogue and bookwork Southern Arts 1996
Natural History solo show catalogue, Rebecca Hossack Gallery 2010
Of Green Leaf, Bird and Flower, Artists' Books and the Natural World, Elisabeth Fairman, Yale Center for British Art New Haven, USA 2014

Latest7 July 2009
The Blue Notebook April 2009
Artists and Illustrators Magazine November 2008
Telegraph Magazine 30 September 2006
Dwell October 2006
Printmaking Today Spring 2006

Book Works
Produced 62 editioned books to date since 1985

Artworks and Book Works in Public Collections
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Tate Gallery Library
The British Library
Royal College of Art Library
Manchester University Library
St. Martins School of Art
Chelsea School of Art
University of the West of England Library
Winchester School of Art
The Leicestershire Collection
The Whitworth Art Gallery
Edinburgh Central Library
Hampshire County Council
University of Bradford
University of Brighton
Buckinghamshire County Museum
Biblioteca Nationiale Centrale Florence
Humanities Research Center University of Texas at Austin
Special Collections U C San Diego California
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven USA
Museum of Modern Art New York
Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Illinois United States

© John Dilnot 2021