John Dewar’s (often known as « Long Johnny » or « Long John ») traditional lands is north of Katherine in the Oenpelli (Gunbalanya) area but he has lived most of his life in the Katherine Region since his father took the family when he went to work of Eva Valley Cattle Station and Yeuralba Tin Mine. John himself followed his father’s footsteps and has worked on various cattle stations in the region himself and as a Tour Guide in Manyallaluk and Nitmiluk Gorge area. John is a nephew of the artist Bardayal « Lofty » Nadjamerrek from the Stone Country in Arnhem Land.
John’s elders taught him how to harvest stringy bark, make his own natural pigments and use a reed brush. His paintings and artefacts are held in collections in Australia and internationally. John is now one of Mimi Arts most prolific artists. He still works with natural ochres but for the most part has switched to working with artists acrylics.
His painting are high demand with the many tourists who visit Katherine and have been purchased by numerous Australian and international visitors. He also gets many requests for special commission pieces from people who have met him and seen his work.