Read more about Pranavanta the artist and seeker: Profound painter and teacher by Mark Juddery, Sydney Morning Herald, June 16, 2011
Profound painter and teacher
For his last 22 years the artist John Montefiore was known to many of his friends as ''Pranavanta'', a name given to him by his meditation teacher, Sri Chinmoy, meaning ''full of life energy''. You didn't have to be a spiritual giant to know that this was a particularly apt designation. Even as he lay in hospital suffering from cancer, he couldn't wait to leave and return to his painting.
Such enthusiasm resulted in epic works. His 18-metre-high, multi-panelled Life Series painting took him more than 20 years to complete - and was worth the wait. It won the Sir John Sulman Prize in 1993, awarded by the Art Gallery of NSW, and is now permanently at Macquarie University.
Montefiore was an aficionado, someone who could wax lyrical on many aspects of the world: not just the beauty that he strived to portray in his artwork but also the sweet sounds of music, the aroma of a flower, even the joy of a terrible pun.
When people say ''Words can't express it'', they obviously never accompanied their words with the enthusiasm of Montefiore. His marathon artworks were best accompanied by his own commentary, as he guided you through the story he was telling with his work. Every dot of paint, its position and shape, had profound significance.