CV & contact

 

Contact: Johanna [at] johannabolton.com

 

Artist Statement

I want to bounce my ideas against matter, against the human body – the resistance they meet there teach me something new every time. I am interested in how concepts and language affects human understanding of the real life-world out there – and in here. The human body is perhaps the first case of matter that has become self-aware.

I do conceptual-based sculpture, I photograph and collect. The world is too complex to be understood, but I will never give up. Pay close attention, the amazing mass of information needed to describe even the most humble object can truly give a glimpse of infinity, and is my path to the sublime. I like to observe this in the everyday. Finding strategies to observe and record the quotidian invisible, whether the blindness is caused by routine or a problem of conceptualisation.

I make and collect open series of objects going through change. They follow a system, sometimes rational and sometimes intuitive, but the series have no natural end – their start, end and the rules that govern their path is as personal and haphazard as any aesthetic or artistic choice may be. Artists like Mel Bochner and Sol LeWitt investigated systems, but set the rules so that the end point is given – I am interested in the awkwardness of systems where the end point remains elusive (e.g. the work of Hanne Darboven).

I work in many materials; clay, plaster, wood and plastics. The objects tend to be sculptural, human scale and tactile. Sometimes they take on the character of a three dimensional stop-motion film. Arranging the collected series becomes an investigation into the creation of meaning and narratives. A semiotic experiment studying the nuances of language; the structure, the power of it and what fills the blanks caused by limitations to what we can say.

I spend a long time looking at the same object, hoping that by changing viewpoint, I will eventually discover something new. This new, ‘other,’ that I am hoping to catch, is maybe something akin to Adorno’s Nonidentity – the part of any object that eludes capture by the concept. I want to expose those parts of an object that cannot be communicated via language, to take something familiar and create something of universal strangeness.

 

Education

2016- ongoing   Member of AltMFA and artist research group 3 Musings

2011-2014         BA Fine Arts, Chelsea College of Art

 

Relevant Work Experience

2014- 2016 Visiting Tutor at Royal College of Art, Information Experience Design programme

 

Group Exhibitions, Events and Residencies

2011

‘Gerlesborgs Vårutställning’, Stockholm, Sweden

‘CLASHANDCONVERGEII’, Camberwell Space, London

2012

Participated in event and publication at TATE Britain; ‘What I talk about when I talk about my thoughts’

‘Entwined’, student group exhibition at Chelsea College, London

2013

‘Breast Milk (Lactose 2)’ image used to promote ‘Acrobat’ Short Film by Eduardo Menz, supported by Canada Arts Council

‘For Every Action there is an Equal and Opposite Reaction’, Westminster Reference Library

‘Editions’, Chelsea College Art Library, joint exhibition between the Fine Art departments of Bristol and Chelsea.

‘Joyless Unity’, Mori + Stein Gallery, Camberwell, London

2014

Chelsea College Degree Show

ING Discerning Eye, invited by Chris Ingram

2015

Off the shelf, I’klectic Art Lab, London

The Motion of Matter, Bow Arts’ Rum Factory Project Space

2016

The Observer Effect, Hockney Gallery, Royal College of Art

The Other (RCA Feminist Society), Darwin Galleries, Royal College of Art

Circumbendibus, Shonibare Guest Projects, London

PREFAB-Lab, Bath Fringe Arts Festival

eYEbAll presents ‘Position 1′, Project Space Wapping

‘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, London

‘Drawing Utopias,’ IKLECTIK Art Lab, London

2017

Unknown Futures (AltMFA), Shonibare Guest Projects, London

eYEbAll presents ‘Position 2’, Project Space Wapping, London

‘Solutions’, Rotherhithe Beach Party, Art Licks Weekend

Emergency 2017, Word of Warning, Manchester

‘Pre-sliced Orange Segments’, Light Eye Mind Gallery, London

‘Word Play’, Forest Gate Arts, London

Residency in Kew Herbarium, November 2017-January 2018

 

Publications

‘Here be dragon’, 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

 

Grants & Scholarships

Shortlisted for the Mead Scholarship 2013

Shortlisted for the ACME studio award 2013

 

Art works held in UAL Collection, and private collections

 

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