John Patchett was born in England and completed most of his study there. Since 1975 he has lived and taught in Adelaide, working full-time as an artist since 1987.

AMAZED MAGPIES, 1988, depicts a view of Carrick Hill's gardens and sculpture park, which includes flora, fauna and SQUARED CIRCLE, 1986, by sculptor Greg Johns. The title refers to a family of magpies, which continue to exert territorial rights over the newly-developed maze (hence, "amazed magpies"). The work serves as a record of an important stage in the development of the outer garden, maze and northern allée.