Painter, printmaker and installation artist John Wolseley was born in Somerset, England. He studied at St Martins School of Art between 1957 and 1958, the Byam Shaw School of Art, London, in printmaking from 1958 to 1963 and later in Paris between 1961 and 1963. He lived and worked throughout Europe before relocating to Australia in 1976, where he travelled extensively through the outback.
Wolseley has held solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra and survey exhibitions of his work have been held at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the University of Melbourne and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Tasmania.
He received a bicentennial commission from the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1988, and Australia Council Grant in 1998 and an Honorary PhD in Science from Macquarie University in 2005. His work is represented by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; most state galleries, Parliament House, Canberra; several regional and tertiary collections and internationally in collections in England and Yugoslavia. A monograph of his work was published in 1998, and a collection of artworks accompanied by poetry ‘Lines for birds’ was published in 2011.
His latest project is the exhibition and book both called: Midawarr/Harvest: The Art of Mulkun Wirrpanda and John Wolseley, which showed at the National Museum of Australia at the end of 2017).