John Wimberley was born in Bermuda in 1945 and currently lives in southern Oregon. His first photographs were of flight operations on aircraft carriers on which he served during the Vietnam War. Following his discharge in 1967 Wimberley documented the hippie culture in San Francisco.
While photographing a group of trees in 1969 Wimberley felt the first of a series of deeply transformative experiences. He realized that although photography records the physical appearance of things, to be successful his photographs would need to convey much more.
To better understand and use this insight he began long-term studies of religion, mysticism and theology.
Wimberley produced his first solo exhibition in 1973 and although he was completely self-taught his photographs prompted this review in Artweek – “The first thing that one is made aware of is that the photographer, John Wimberley, is a craftsman of the highest order. His prints are not merely technically correct but wonderfully alive”.
Unhappy with commercially available photographic chemistry Wimberley performed years of research that resulted in two pyrogallol film developers that are still sold by The Photographer’s Formulary.
During the 1970s and 1980s Wimberley sought out places that conveyed spiritual power, returning for more than 25 years to certain locations. In 1981 he made a series of photographs of a woman underwater which resulted in his portfolio The Realization of Anima, which includes the beautiful Descending Angel.
In 1983 Wimberley had the first of two, two-man exhibitions with Ansel Adams. Trips to New Zealand in 1985 and Ireland in 1986 added to his growing body of work. In 1999 his interest in shamanism led him to begin working with American Indian petroglyphs in the Great Basin, resulting in his acclaimed book Evidence of Magic.
Point Light Gallery introduced Wimberley’s photographs to Australia in 2010 with an exhibition of works selected from Evidence of Magic as well as the complete portfolio of The Realization of Anima. Because of the keen interest in Wimberley’s work we mounted another exhibition in 2011 and launched his second book, A Metaphysic of Light : photographs: 1970 to 1988.
John Wimberley has had more than 70 exhibitions and has been extensively published around the world. His work is represented in over 500 public and private collections including many major museums.