Born Ballarat, Victoria 1936, died Melbourne 1999
John Davis was born in Ballarat in 1936. Following several teaching positions between 1958 and 1962, Davis returned to part-time studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1963, graduating with a Diploma of Sculpture in 1966. The following year he was appointed as lecturer in sculpture and 3D design at Caulfield Institute of Technology.
In 1972, he travelled with his family to the United States of America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, returning to Australia the following year to take up position of lecturer in sculpture at the Prahran College of Advanced Education. In subsequent years when he was a senior faculty member at the Victorian College of the Arts, Davis continued to travel widely and exhibit regularly in the United States, Japan and Australia.
In 1961 he participated in the inaugural Mildura Sculpture Triennial and was artist-in-residence at Monash University in 1976. He represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 1978 and in the same year was the first artist whose work was profiled in the National Gallery of Victoria’s Survey series. McClelland Gallery+Sculpture Park presented John Davis: Evolution of a Fish Traveller in 2003 and the major retrospective John Davis: Presence was held at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2010.