Contact: johanna [at] johannabolton.com
Johanna Bolton is a Swedish artist living in London. She works mostly in 3D, often in combination with installation, photography and performance. Johanna received the 2021 Gilbert Bayes Award from the Royal Society of Sculptors, and has upcoming exhibitions in Italy, Portugal and the UK this year. She is currently taking part in Conditions Programme, a one-year mentored studio programme in London.
Johanna has participated in a number of group shows, events and residencies, and had her first solo show in 2018 at Borough Road Gallery. Recent projects include a residency at Kew Herbarium, a commission for a research residency at the Bomberg Archive at London South Bank University and an exhibition at Gerlesborgs Konsthall in Sweden.
2011-2014 BA Fine Arts, Chelsea College of Art
2015-2020 Member of Alt-MFA
‘ARCHIVE: Reimagining the Borough Road Collection’, Borough Road Gallery, London
Group Exhibitions, Residencies, Performances and Events
Received the 2021Gilbert Bayes Award from Royal Society of Sculptors
Non Place Collective exhibition, Bath Fringe Arts Festival (online because of COVID)
‘Att komma hem’, Gerlesborgs Konsthall, Sweden
Conditions Studio Programme 2019-2020
‘RE:FORM” event for Art Licks, EG-1 Project Space, London
‘Shutters!’, Arebyte Victoria, London
Kelder Gallery Residency (AltMFA), London
David Bomberg Collection, Commission and Residency, London South Bank University (April- October 2018)
Koppel Project Gallery Summer Residency, London
‘This Ephemeral Matter’, Bath Fringe Arts Festival, Bath
‘This Might Be The Future’ (AltMFA), Guest Projects, London
Kew Herbarium Residency (November 2017- February 2018)
‘Unknown Futures’ (AltMFA), Guest Projects, London
‘Emergency 2017’, Word of Warning, Manchester
‘Pre-sliced Orange Segments’, Light Eye Mind Gallery, London
‘Word Play’, Forest Gate Arts, London
eYEbAll presents ‘Position 2’, Project Space Wapping, London
‘Solutions’, Rotherhithe Beach Party, Art Licks Weekend
‘The Observer Effect’, Hockney Gallery, Royal College of Art
‘The Other’ (RCA Feminist Society), Darwin Galleries, Royal College of Art
‘Circumbendibus’ (AltMFA), Guest Projects, London
‘PREFAB-Lab’, Bath Fringe Arts Festival, Bath
eYEbAll presents ‘Position 1′, Project Space Wapping, London
‘I TWANG’ performance at the Royal Academy, Burlington Gardens Festival
‘Elastic.’ Performative Art Research at the Nunnery Gallery, London
‘Multi-function’, online exhibition (AltMFA) GalleryELL, New York
‘States of Flux’ (AltMFA), Art Licks Weekend
‘Drawing Utopias,’ IKLECTIK Art Lab, London
‘Off the shelf’, IKLECTIK Art Lab, London
‘The Motion of Matter’, The Rum Factory Project Space, London
Chelsea College Degree Show
ING Discerning Eye
‘Lactose 2’ image used to promote ‘Acrobat’ Short Film by Eduardo Menz, Canada
‘For Every Action there is an Equal and Opposite Reaction’, Westminster Reference Library
‘Editions’, Chelsea College Art Library, London
‘Joyless Unity’, Mori + Stein Gallery, Camberwell, London
Event and publication at TATE Britain; ‘What I talk about when I talk about my thoughts’
‘What I talk about when I talk about my thoughts’, Group Publication and Event at TATE Britain 2012
‘The Study of Elastic Bands in R3 Euclidean Space’, Artist’s book (edition of 50), 2014
‘Circle or Oval?: Concepts, Non-identity and the Lifeworld’, Symposium: Material Others and Other Materialities, Informed Matters, IKLECTIK Labs 2016
Awards & Scholarships
2021 Gilbert Bayes Award from the Royal Society of Sculptors
Shortlisted for the ACME studio award 2014
Shortlisted for the Mead Scholarship 2013
Art works held in UAL Collection, and private collections
Observation and research is at the heart of my practice. I have made a study of the shapes in elastic bands, the patterns formed by scrunching up paper and, most recently, the folds at the back of trouser legs, a kind of modern day version of the fabric folds of marble statues. They are all archives of the traces that human presence and movement left behind in material form.
Whilst my practice is conceptual, it is important for me to work with materials, to test my ideas against reality. The resistance I meet there teaches me something new every time. I work mainly with 3D materials, photography and performance, most often in combination.
A number of my projects have ended with inviting performers or actors to interact with the objects or installations. This is sometimes part of the narrative, but I am also interested in investigating the shape relationships between sculptural and human forms.
I tend to work in series, with objects going through change. They follow a system, sometimes rational and sometimes intuitive — their start, end and the rules that govern their path is as personal and haphazard as any aesthetic or artistic choice may be. I am interested in the awkwardness of systematic investigations where the end point remains elusive.
In conjunction to the 3D and performance work, I also use the artistic research to make ephemera and publications; such as card packs, posters and artist books.