work cv contact


John Vella was born in Sydney in 1969 and since 1996 has lived in Hobart with his wife Sonia and daughter Sophia Lucia. Since dropping out of architecture in 1988, he has travelled the world, served as a waiter, labourer and telemarketer, loaded trucks, worked in a phone book factory, completed a DipFA with Distinction at the National Art School Sydney, a BFA (Hons) first class and an MFA, at the Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart.

John has developed independent and collaborative artistic projects, that have been exhibited (and reviewed) locally and nationally over the last 15 years. He has been a guest lecturer at a number of tertiary institutions and has served on the Contemporary Art Services Tasmania Board. In addition to having been awarded 3 major competitive commissions through the Art for Public Building Scheme (APBS) he has been the recipient of significant, competitive grants from Arts Tasmania and the Australia Council. His work is held in a number of public and private collections.

Vella lectured in Painting and Drawing at the Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania, from 1998-2000 and was recently appointed to the University as the Acting Head of Sculpture.

John Vella is represented by Criterion Gallery, Hobart.

selected solo exhibitions

2010 HANGBANG, CAST Gallery, Hobart
2009 permissiontosit, Criterion Gallery, Hobart
2006 Fume, Devonport Regional Gallery Solo Commission Project, Devonport
Bath (yet to be acquired), Criterion Gallery, Hobart
2005 Inklein, Criterion Gallery, Hobart
2004 Apartment, curated by David O'Halloran, Melbourne
2002 Product Lines, Academy Gallery, Launceston
2001 On Loan from a Private Collection, Bett Gallery, Hobart
Going Off, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra

selected recent mixed exhibitions

2010 Karsten Schubert Photographic Award, Gold Coast City Art Gallery
Because I?m Lucky, (with Elvis Richardson), Conical Inc. Gallery, Melbourne
New Acquisitions Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart
2009 I Walk the Line: New Australian Drawing, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Sydney, curated by Christine Morrow
Portraits and Architecture, National Portrait Gallery Canberra, curated by Christopher Chapman
Finalist, City of Hobart Art Prize, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart
TRUST (Clarendon Estate), Tasmania (Ten Days on the Island), curated by Noel Frankham
SRL (Stigma Research Lab), in collaboration with UTAS School of Sociology and CAST various venues, curated by Michael Edwards and Sean Kelly
Group Action Four, Criterion Gallery, Hobart
Spatial Origami, In collaboration with the UTAS School of Architecture, and architect Chris Bosse, Tasmania (Ten Days on the Island)
2008 Ecchymosis, Criterion Gallery, Hobart
2007 MADE PUBLIC, curated by Paula Silva, Carnegie Gallery, Hobart
New Deities, curated by Catherine Wolfhagen, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart
2007 Nourish, curated by Zara Stanhope, CAST Gallery, Hobart
2006 Subpoena, with Louise Hubbard, Conical Inc., curated by Adrien Allen Melbourne
Partnership or Perish, curated by Margaret Baguley, Academy Gallery, Launceston
Object, curated by Ellie Ray, Devonport Regional Gallery, Devonport
Come with Me, Royal Botanical Gardens, curated by James Newitt, Hobart.
2005 Rhapsody 21C: Tasmanian Contemporary Art, curated by Malcom Bywaters, Academy Gallery, Launceston.
2004 Free Time, curated by Philip Watkins, CAST Gallery, Hobart
Riverine Sculpture Exhibition, Werribee Park, Melbourne
Interpreting 2004, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart
2003 Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne curated by Robyn Archer in consultation with Juliana Engberg
Finalist: The Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award, Werribee Park, Melbourne
Haven, curated by Kevin Murray, Long Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart /Craft Victoria Melbourne / Burnie Regional Art Gallery, Burnie (2004)
Bodybag - Somewhere over the rainbow. curated by Malcom Bywaters, Academy Gallery

selected articles and reviews

2009 I Walk the Line: New Australian Drawing, Art & Australia, Vol 47 No. 1 Spring, CRAIG JUDD
SRL: Stigma Research Laboratory, Artlink, vol 29 No. 3, ANDREW HARPER
SCAPE, Landscape Architecture Australia, August 09, pp.36-38, JUDITH ABELL
I Walk the Line: New Australian Drawing, Sydney Morning Herald, JOHN MCDONALD
Ten Days on the Island, Art Monthly June issue, pp. 22-25, DANIEL THOMAS
The sound of many hands clapping, Artlink, vol 29. No.2, pp 11-13, STEPHANIE RADOK
John Vella, permissiontosit, Gallery Guide, PHILIP WATKINS
2008 Commissions in Brief, Sculpture (USA publication) vol. 27, no.7 September, p.27, ELIZABETH LYNCH
Lifelines and Graduate Gallery, Artichoke vl. 23, pp. 89-92, JUDITH ABELL
SCAPE, featured on Stateline, ABC TV
2007 STUDIO:, Australian Painters on the Nature of Creativity, JOHN MCDONALD (book & DVD)
New Deities, Artlink vol 27 no.3, Briony Downes
2006 Commissions (Internationally juried public art commissions), Sculpture (USA publication) vol. 25 no. 8 October, pp.18.19, LAURA DILLON
FUME, Artlink, vol. 26 #4, p.117, JANE DEETH
Subpoena, Art around the galleries, A2 The Age, Nov 11, MEGAN BACKHOUSE
Subpoena, Visual Arts, Preview The Age, Nov 5, PENNY WEBB
Beyond the Big City, Art Gallery Guide, Nov/Dec, pp.14-15, ANDREW MACKENZIE
Silicone Wonder, Urbis (New Zealand), issue 33, pp.54-55, MELINDA WILLIAMS
Control-Shift, State of the Arts, p.81, ADAM HADDOW
Art Attacks, Good Weekend: Sydney Morning Herald / The Age, pp. 221-223, JOHN MACDONALD
Too Cool for School, Silicone Valley, Black + White, Special Issue 83 March 06, p.123, NICK DENT
Silicone Valley, Artichoke 14, pp.111-113, JUDITH ABELL
2005 Silicone Valley, Architectural Review (ar) 095 …andscape, pp.26-28, PHILIP WATKINS
Apartment, BroadSheet, vol 33 no 4, Feb, pp.44-45, ANDREW GAYNOR
inklein, Photofile 75: Spring 05, pp.71-72, CELIA LENDIS
Free time, Photofile 73: Summer 05, p.77, STEPHEN RAINBIRD
2004 … Visual Arts in Regional Australia, Craft Arts International 61, pp 68-74 JONATHAN HOLMES
Product Lines / Inklein artist page, Artlink, vol 24 #2, pp38-39
2003 Placemats: a series of fundamental floors, Photofile 69: August 03, p.77, PHILIP WATKINS
Ten Days on the Island with Tasmanian Art, Art Monthly #159, May, pp32-34, DANIEL THOMAS
Border Crossings, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Spectrum) June 14-15, pp. 12-13, PETER HILL
Mixing Perception with Space: Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award, The Age: The Culture Review, March 26, p. 6, ROBERT NELSON
The Divine Essentials, Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award, The Weekend Australian Review, March 29-30, p.17, SUSAN MCCULLOCH
Out of the Gothic and into the Blue, Artlink vol 23 #1, p.60, KEVIN MURRAY
What Queue?, Artlink vol 23 #1, pp.66-67, MERRYN GATES
2002 Product Lines, BroadSheet, vol 31 no 4, Dec, p.26, SEAN KELLY
Cut Outs and Cardboard, Artichoke, 01/02, pp. 112-113, HELEN NORRIE
Product Lines, Monument 53, Dec/Jan 02/03, p.93, GERARD REINMUTH
2001 Touching From a Distance, exh. cat., essay by JULIE-ANN HALL
Art’s more fun with sea and sun, The Sydney Morning Herald, November 7, p.25, ANNE LOXLEY
1999 Undiscovered, unmasked: Artists for a new millennium, Australian Art and Collector Magazine, April-June pp33-40, EDWARD COLLESS

grants and awards

2009 UTAS Teaching Development Grant, UTAS Community Engagement Grant (part of team / SRL / HACRU)
2003 New Work Grant (established), Australia Council / Artsbridge Grant, Arts Tasmania
2002 Arts/ Events Grant, Arts Industry Grant, Arts Tasmania
2001 Pat Corrigan Artists’ Grant
2000 New Work Grant (emerging), Australia Council

public art commissions

2007/8 S C A P E, Hydro Consulting, Cambridge, Hobart
(International collaboration with Scottish artist Stephen Hurrel)
2007 Lifelines, Graduate Gallery, Royal Hobart Hospital
2005 Silicone Valley, Rose Bay High School, Tasmania.
2004 Coles Old World, Coles Sandy Bay, Tasmania.
2002 Munch Boxes, Clarence Dental Clinic, Tasmania.

curatorial projects

2010 ONLINE (fishing), Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart
2009 ONALOG, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart
2008 ONAROLL, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart
2005 Acidophilus, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart

refereed / published papers

2009 Remote control: Frangibility and the art of blood letting the permanent, presented at ACUADS Conference, Sydney
2007 Site Specificity, The Local And The Faking Of Belonging, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart
2006 Beauty as the beast: creativity, the exotic and the dark side of desirability, refereed / published paper presented at ACUADS Conference, Melbourne
Trailertrashed: Detritus inspired strategies for interrogating place, paper presented at Senses of Place, Conference, Hobart also published in Island Magazine
2005 Monumentalities: public art and the culture of civic branding, refereed / published paper presented at ACUADS Conference, Perth

represented in

University of NSW
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Private and corporate collections