John Coburn was born in Ingham, Queensland in 1925. He is known as a painter, teacher, tapestry designer and printmaker.
Coburn served in the Royal Australian Navy during World War II. After the war he studied at East Sydney Technical College from 1947-50. He went on to teach there from 1959-66.
In addition to producing paintings, Coburn also began to design tapestries, which became a very important aspect of his work. To further his experience in this field, Coburn and his family lived in France from 1969-1972, where he worked in Paris for an old-established tapestry-weaving firm. This firm weaved his Sydney Opera House curtains, "The Sun" and "The Moon".
After returning to Australia, Coburn became Head of the National Art School at East Sydney Technical College for two years. In Australia he has devoted time to painting, making prints and designing tapestries. During his career, Coburn exhibited extensively in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, as well as shows overseas in New Zealand, Paris, London, Bologna, Moscow, Washington, New York, Montreal, Brazil, Japan, Manila and India. Coburn also exhibited at World Expo in Brisbane in 1988, had his Kakadu series of paintings hung in the Australian Embassy in Paris, and designed sets for Voyage Within by the Western Australian Ballet Company.
Coburn was awarded a Trustee of Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1977. He has also won numerous art prizes and in 1980 was awarded an AM for services to the arts.
John Coburn passed away in 2006.
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