A veteran of the arts scene, his paintings are held in the Permanent and the Overseas Collection of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. He also served on various committees of the National Gallery. In 1996 he was chosen to be among the panel of selectors for the Zimbabwe Heritage 96 Annual Exhibition.
With tuition from Arthur Azevedo, he began to sculpt in metal and first exhibited in this medium in WeldArt 79, winning joint second prize. After an initial phase of creating birds, clearly linked artistically to his use of the palette knife, he embarked late in life on a remarkable series of abstracted figures.
With the theft of his welding equipment, and with progressive deterioration of his vision, John was unable to continue to work. He continues to live in Mbare, Harare but, sadly, has been blind for some years.
John Hlatywayo with his sculpture 'Mr Saluter' in the garden of his home in Mbare, Harare, 1993
WeldArt 79 NGZ, Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Heritage NGZ, Harare, 1986
Zimbabwe Heritage NGZ, Harare 1990
Zimbabwe Heritage NGZ, Harare 1993
Zimbabwe Heritage NGZ, Harare 1994
Pauline Podbrey Gallery, London 1992 and 1993
WeldArt Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery 1993
WeldArt Belfast City Gallery 1994
Billingham Art Gallery 1997
Trispace Gallery London 2014
Born at Chikore Mission in Chipinge in the 1920s, he learned carpentry at Mt. Selinda Mission School before heading south to Johannesburg to work in 1948. A woman 'sponsor' encouraged him to attend the Polly Peck Art Centre in Johannesburg, where he worked for three years under Cecil Skotnis. He then studied with George Boys and exhibited privately in his first group show in 1959. He had work selected for the exhibition of Artists of Fame and Promise in 1960 and 1961 and held his first solo show of paintings in the Constancia Gallery at the end of 1961.
By 1963 he had returned to live permanently in Salisbury where he taught for a number of years in schools before creating his own painting workshop for children from the age of eight at his township home in Mbare, which he continued to operate until almost seventy years old. In 1975 he exhibited in the first few months of the opening of Gallery Delta and held his first solo show there in 1979.
Joint 2nd prize, WeldArt 79, with "Woman", Harare 1979
Award Of Merit, Zimbabwe Heritage, with "Together", Harare 1994
Please note the above exhibitions and awards were made only in relation to metal sculpture.