JOHN COURT – Biography
John Court was born in 1969 in Bromley, in the county of Kent in England. He graduated from Camberwell School of Art, London in 1994 and from Norwich School of Art and Design in 1997 with a 1st class Honours degree in Sculpture.
He moved to Finland in 1997, and lives and works in Lapland, close to the Arctic Circle. He was recently awarded a prestigious three year grant by the Arts Council of Finland.
His output includes performance, sculpture and video, but he considers all his work to be fundamentally concerned with drawing, in that drawing connects the elements of line, movement, space and time.
Time is also a particularly significant element of his performances – endurance pieces always based on the unit of the eight hour working day.
John Court deals with issues of physical endurance by pushing his body to its absolute limits. A recent work which took place north of the Arctic Circle involved walking 200 metres in a straight line over 8 hours.
In this 8 hour performance for Liverpool, he creates a drawing as his body comes into contact with 2000 pencil leads on 3 square metres of paper until there is a recording left by the movement. Liverpool Live, Liverpool Biennial 2004 Live Art Programme catalogue
John Court suffers from severe dyslexia (reading disability). He began drawing at the age of nineteen, using it as a means to comprehend and come to terms with the difficulties and negative experiences he had gone through at school, thereby gaining self-confidence and learning to read and write in his own way.
Letters appear to him as interesting visual forms rather than comprehensible symbols; and letters and words, the mastering of them through repetition, playing with their meanings, and creating new meanings, are central to the drawings and performances of John Court.
He has exhibited extensively in Scandinavia, and by invitation at major events such as the Guangzhou Live Art Festival in China, the ANTI Contemporary Art Festival in Kuopio, Finland (both 2010) and the Venice Biennale (2005), as well as the Liverpool Biennial (2004).