Massey, Ian (2010) The stuff of life: notes on John Blackburn. In: John Blackburn Paintings. Lemon Street Gallery, Truro, UK. ISBN 9780956475350

John Blackburn is an artist who relates strongly to the raw experience of human life, and although ostensibly abstract, his paintings are rooted firmly in the tangible, in life as it is lived on a day-to-day basis. All art is autobiographical to a degree, and in Blackburn there is the constant sense of a man in reiterative confirmation of his own existence, but also of a man with a deep sense of empathy in a wider sense:
‘You know, life is horribly brutal. I’m an upbeat sort of guy, but you cannot really escape from certain facts, and it’s not always man’s inhumanity to man that is the terrible thing: sometimes life itself, just the mere fact of being alive, you are faced with a natural brutality …

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