After an initial career as a marine biologist John Coll turned his passion for making sculpture full-time in the 90’s and has since become one of Ireland's most prominent figurative sculptors. He has sculpted many works of national importance including monuments to the poet Patrick Kavanagh and the writer Brendan Behan on the Dublin canals. Other large-scale projects include a monument to Countess Markievicz in Rathcormac, Co Sligo and locally a life-size portrait of the racehorse "Bobby-Jo" in Mountbellew, Co Galway.

Recent works include the newly installed statue of musician Luke Kelly on Dublin’s South King Street, a 3.5 metre bronze and stainless steel sculpture entitled "Ceilliuradh" in NUI Galway and  a 4.5 metre monument to the Galway footballer Enda Colleran for Moylough, Co Galway.

He has exhibited widely in Europe and held a one-man show in New York in 1998. His work is found in many collections including the Bank of Ireland collection, The National Museum Collins Barracks, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, The National Library of Ireland Collection and Stanford University, California, USA.