john valla pageJohn Vella commits acts of physical and conceptual frottage on communities, objects and systems; 'rubbings' that recycle the act and artefact of lived experience. Mediating status, value and 'damage by design' Vella develops diverse testimonies to the epic and incidental aspects of our personal and material histories.

Vella was born and raised in Sydney, Australia and moved to Hobart, Tasmania in 1996. Since dropping out of a university architecture course in 1988, he has travelled extensively overseas, worked as a waiter, labourer, photographer, telemarketer, truck loader, phone book factory hand, exhibitions officer, and gallery attendant; completed a DipFA with Distinction (National Art School, Sydney), a BFA (Hons) first class and an MFA (Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania, Hobart).

Vella has exhibited across diverse Australian and international contexts that include: the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart, Australia; the Stockholm Independent Art Fair, Sweden; Glasgow International Arts Festival, Glasgow, UK; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; The Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award, Melbourne, Australia; the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Australia and Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart, Australia. In addition to having been awarded five major public art commissions, John has received a
number of highly competitive grants from the Australia Council and Arts Tasmania.

Vella has guest lectured at a number of Australian and European tertiary institutions and he was recently appointed as the Director of Program (Art) at the Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania, Hobart.

His work is represented in private and public collections.

Mdina Biennale Venues