John Backland was born in Cardiff in 1948. Leaving school at the age of 15 with little, except a sense of colour, developed in art work during maths lessons. A variety of jobs without promise followed and the late sixties saw John (or Chalky as he is known by his friends) joining the army for six years.
On his emergence, he became interested in surfing and travelled extensively in places such as Morocco and Spain. His interest in art developed at this time but he did not create a practical outlet until he came to live, on his return, in a cottage in North Cornwall. Here he started to make brass jewellery items. He soon progressed to using the medium of wood but this time to make highly-painted toys and brooches.
During the late-eighties a growing interest in large, wooden, painted sculpture came to the fore, with colourful paintings being created as well.
John's naive work can be found int the New Craftmsan Gallery in St Ives, Cornwall.