Changing Hands - a solo show by Claire Johnson

Tue, June 28, 2016 to Sat, July 30, 2016
  • 'Guest of Honour', 2016, Acrylic on Canson Moulin Du Roy paper, artwork size 75 x 40cm, framed size 112 x 57cm
  • 'High Arch', 2016, Acrylic on Canson Moulin Du Roy paper, artwork size 55 x 40cm, framed size 92 x 57cm
  • 'Night Class Week Three', 2016, Acrylic on Canson Moulin Du Roy paper, artwork size 40 x 40cm, framed size 77 x 57cm
  • 'On Top Of The Piano', 2016, Acrylic on Zerkall paper, artwork size 125 x 70cm, framed size 152 x 93cm
  • 'Breakfast Loaf', 2016, Acrylic on Zerkall paper, artwork size 110 x 60cm, framed size 152 x 93cm
  • 'Modern Materials', 2016, Acrylic on Canson Moulin Du Roy paper, artwork size 40 x 40cm, framed size 77 x 57cm
  • 'Someone Elses Holiday', 2016, Acrylic on Zerkall paper, artwork size 120 x 70cm, framed size 152 x 93cm
  • 'Souvenir', 2016, Acrylic on Canson Moulin Du Roy paper, artwork size 40 x 40cm, framed size 77 x 57cm
  • 'House-Warming', 2016, Linocut on Zerkall paper, artwork size approx. 120 x 80cm, framed size 134 x 94cm, Edition of 5 + 1AP
  • 'Self-Grooming', 2016, Linocut on Zerkall paper, artwork size approx. 120 x 80cm, framed size 134 x 94cm, Edition of 5 + 1AP
  • 'Part-Time', 2016, Acrylic on Canson Moulin Du Roy paper, artwork size 40 x 40cm, framed size 77 x 57cm
  • 'Victoriana', 2016, Acrylic on Canson Montval paper, artwork size 80 x 80cm, framed size 92 x 92cm
  • 'Office Furnishing', 2016, Acrylic on Canson Moulin Du Roy paper, artwork size 80 x 80cm, framed size 93 x 93cm
  • 'Night Class Week Two', 2016, Acrylic on Canson Moulin Du Roy paper, artwork size 80 x 80cm, framed size 93 x 93cm
  • 'The Parking Lot', 2016, Acrylic on Zerkall paper, artwork size 80 x 80cm, framed size 92 x 92cm
  • 'Smug', 2016, Acrylic on Zerkall paper, artwork size 99 x 99cm, framed size 102 x 102cm

SMITH Studio is excited to announce its hosting of Claire Johnson’s first solo exhibition, Changing Hands, from 28 June until 30 July 2016. The show will feature acrylic paintings, linocuts and fabric works in cotton, linen and leather and comes after her participation in a number of group shows at the gallery.

Johnson, a member of the creative collective and design agency Hoick, shares stylistic similarities with stable mates Dale Lawrence, Franco Fernandes, and former member Ben Johnson, all of whom collaborated on 2015’s hugely popular group show On Second Thought at SMITH.
Yet in both technique and execution Johnson’s work is unmistakable. Her approach involves flattening of three-dimensional items into less discernable two-dimensional forms, with those shapes then intuitively arranged into abstracted compositions. Colour, meanwhile, is chosen quickly and instinctively.

The subject of her work is always an object, whether personal or not. Stripped of context, the meaning of the work is completed by the viewer, who is less passive observer than active participant in the process.

“An object without context cannot speak for itself, so the viewers subjective perception is the only real experience, regardless of my intentions,” says Johnson.
“If the viewer were to know what the object was, the illusion would be broken and the process exposed. With the power of imagination thus hindered, the baggage of the work’s context would prevent the viewer from having ownership over its meaning.”
Johnson is preoccupied with the journey her works make. As the chosen object evolves from a physical item into a flattened shape and finally into a composition hung on a wall, it’s past becomes irrelevant and it is only genetically related to the final piece. Even then, the resemblance is purely physical.

This systematic journey of the object, meticulous and methodical as it is, starkly contrasts the viewer’s appraisal of the final piece, which is immediate and intuitive.

“This is the delicate balance - making sure there are degrees of separation in place to ask the viewer to complete the story themselves, uninfluenced by its context,” says Johnson.

DOWNLOAD EXHIBITION CATALOGUE