John Radford

b. 1965

John Radford was born in Palmerston North and is a self-taught artist. In his art John works with paint, sculpture and installation/multimedia, often commenting on change, or imagined change, within his environment. A noted aesthetic concept Radford has explored is 'transplasticism' where objects are made to appear to change their materiality, for example a car coated in clay.

In 2007 John was the plaintiff in a landmark New Zealand copyright case. Hallenstein Brothers Ltd had commissioned and sold t-shirts that included a photograph of his work 'Tip.' The plaintiff objected to this and bought a claim in the District Court alleging copyright infringement, importation into New Zealand of copies of his sculptures (i.e. the t-shirts) knowing or having reason to believe that they infringed copyright and breach of his moral rights. It was found that no copyright had been breached because the photographed art work was located in a public space.

Since 2009 Radford has been running a indefinitely long project called 'Graft' that comments on the process of "mass suburban demolitions, removals and re-locations caused by urban redevelopment" in a suburb of Victorian Villas. (cited from artist's website)

See also:

John Radford, 'Tip: VIC (Sculpture One)' (1999), Western Park, Ponsonby, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021.