As one of the best known artists in Cornwall at this time, John Piper is neither Cornish, nor drawn to the county by “the light”. He came as a boy when his parents bought a guest house in St Ives. His desire to make his life that of a painter was ignited by the sight of a huge Patrick Heron canvas on a visit to the Penwith Society in the early 60’s. It captured his imagination. So much so
that frequent further visits to exhibitions, discussions and lectures at "the Penwith" totally immersed him in the Modernist art scene of St. Ives. Following the edict of one abstract painter, that
one should “choose a shape and spend the rest of your life painting it”, John chose the cliffs and cairns of the moorland landscape between St Ives and Land’s End as his subject, pairing it down to its essentials of lichen covered ancient field boundaries, farmhouses and miners cottages. Now, nearly 50 years on, John, who exhibits internationally as much as he does in Cornwall, has become a key member of both
“the Penwith” and the Newlyn Society of Artists.