I was born near Disneyland California. My first memory is of watching the firework display through the window of my room. I was in awe, Tinkerbell lived next door too!
At the age of 10 we moved to Santa Rosa, California where I had a different kind of night display, the clear night sky with bright stars and the discovery of the giant Redwoods. I went to San Francisco State University and studied Theatre Arts BA. It was through my research in costume that I became interested in Japanese art and design, especially textiles and the hundred shades of indigo. I went to Japan to study with a master artisan of the kimono using yuzen, shibori and roketsuzome.
Later, in Hong Kong my creative practice was influence by the tropical environment filled with light and noise, my work became more abstracted clear and bold in colour. I went to London and wild West Wales and found it equally inspiring.
I found the dust and grime of ingrained surfaces, when the edges are worn with layers of time, and muted colours greyed into man made materials. I experience Nature here, a rivers current and looking up through the heavy deep grey black blue sky to a ray of light reflecting back.
I make my own non-toxic fermentation indigo vats using a centuries old formula, plant dyes and pigments from the Earth on washi, wool, silk and contrast this with industrial materials- cast iron, steel, concrete. This engages me in a dialogue that creates a deeper connectedness to being.The tension of light, ephemeral and heavy dark industry produces a emotional experience.
“It is not an image I am seeking. It’s not an idea. It is an emotion you want to recreate, an emotion of wanting, of giving, and of destroying.” Louise Bourgeois
Indigo has been culturally, economically and socially significant for 6,000 years and it continues to inspire me. A heavy dark industry contrasts with light and shade in the material. An historic and timeless process produces something transient. The Universal becomes personal. These tensions provoke an powerful response.
I am available for teaching workshops, speaking engagements and commissions.
Im thrilled to be exhibiting my new sculpture and works on paper at The Other Art Fair this October, at Victoria House. Please come along and see ‘Wild Feathers in A Iron Landscape’! To receive your code for a free ticket please message me or better yet sign up for my newsletter. You can download your ticket here : www.theotherartfair.com/invite
Victoria House, Southhampton Row, London, WC1B 4DA
Thursday, 03 October/ 5-10pm “Private View”
Friday, 04 October/ 1-10pm
Saturday, 05 October/ 11-7pm
Sunday, 06 October/ 11-6pm
Climate catastrophe and species extinction is something many artists refuse to turn away from. It is a pivotal time for our species and planet, we are determined to raise awareness through our art.
The Jenny Gallery is proud to present ‘Confluence’ its first pop-up exhibition at Safehouse1 chosen as a venue because of its stripped back to the bones domestic architecture making it an ideal environment for showcasing a diverse range of art from the deeply personal to the global, through the medium of painting, sculpture, installation, printmaking, textiles, photography and film. As Stephen Jay Gould expresses in his work Natural History “ We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature-for we will not fight to save what we do not love” Art is an emotional bond we need now, more then ever.
Venue: Safehouse1, 139 Copeland Road, Peckham Rye, London, SE15-3SN
September 27th, 2-6pm, 28th 11-6pm, 29th 11-4pm
To the skies Justine Johnson looks with a similar attention as a haiku poet who tries to stay awake for his everyday sensual impressions. A very old Japanese haiku is like this: 'In the paper door, keyhole the whole heavenly stream.'"Harald Ruppert2017
JAPANESE PAPER USED TO CREATE A 3D MASTERPIECE BY JUSTINE JOHNSONwww.aizome1.com2015
This is clever stuff, expertly done, and none of it more expressive than Justine Johnson's "Bell for Peace", a fragile, helmet-shaped form, half-eroded by rust as iron wont to do. Stained, worn and fragmentary, it appears to be a bell made from an ancient Viking helmet or relic of a long-forgotten war. Beautiful in its decay, it lingers as a palimpsest of failure, loss and hope.Mary Abbe, Star Tribune Minneapolis2011
And, as if to push it home Justine Johnson gives us "Juliette", a hooded serpent basking on a rock, waiting to lure a hapless victim into temptation; its identity-or is its predatory gaze-covered with a red leather mask.Darryl Corner, Western Mail2009
Over 20 years of knowing Justine as an artist she has shown a dedication to making work that combines a high level of investigation and conceptual thought with a deep sense of materiality, which always makes for thought provoking pieces.Ken Rorrison, owner Henley Halebrown Rorrison