John has loved making art and experimenting with different media since early childhood. His curiosity led him to teach himself to screen print and make letterpress prints in the garage at home and he used the larder to develop and print photographs.
With enjoying different processes this Do-It–Yourself approach continues to the present day. The range and depth of his printmaking methods are explored and discussed in Linda Newington’s essay for the Blue Notebook, ‘From Potato to Digital’.
Despite John’s interest in printmaking, his work is led by ideas rather than process, in particular the human relationship with nature.
A childhood spent playing and rooting about in his grandparent’s large Kent garden left a lasting impression and remains the source of many ideas and work, such as the box ‘Bad Apples’ and the books ‘Weeds and Pests’ and ‘With the Worms’.
Dilnot studied graphic Design at Canterbury College of Art, followed by Fine Art 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.
John has sold his work through many outlets in this country and abroad. Outlets include, V&A Museum shop, MOCA Los Angeles, Designers Guild London, Material Ludlow and London, The Otherist Amsterdam, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Frank Whitstable, ICA London, Liberty London and Unlimited Brighton.
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.