John Babcock lives and works at his studio near Santa Cruz, California. His medium is paper, and his work has been shown in over thirty major museums in Europe, the United States and Japan. Shows include “Craft Today ,USA”, organized by the American Craft Museum in New York, “The Artful Object, Recent American Craft” at the Fort Wayne Art Museum, and “The Cutting Edge, New Directions in Hand Made Paper”, organized by the Kalamazoo Institute of Art. He has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the United States and in India including sessions for the Southwest School of Art and Craft in San Antonio, Texas; The University of Wisconsin; The University of Hawaii; The University of California, Santa Barbara; Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; and most recently at the Maharaja Sayajirao University in India. His work is included in many public and private collections including The Museum of Art and Design, New York, New York.
John’s art reflects a unique exploration of color relationships to evoke an emotional response. About his work he states, “I gravitate to earth forms for inspiration, because perhaps, much of the colors that I use are earth-derived pigments. I have drawn upon images that come to me when I contemplate the pulsating or vibrating nature of waves, windblown sand, or Japanese rock gardens. I seek to capture the essence of these experiences and document them through the peculiarities of colored paper.”
He uses paper of his own manufacture to build art works of poured, cast, inlaid, and collaged paper. John manipulates various types of wet pigmented pulps, of cotton, kozo, and abaca fibers on large surfaces. Each type of fiber reflects light differently in its dry state. One of the results of the fiber manipulation in the work is the way the imagery changes focus, some images recede or appear as the viewer moves from side to side in front of the work, or as the light of day changes. These unique qualities give his work a sense of mystic delight as one discovers the piece over time.