Mandy Johnston

Studio Artist: 

Mandy Johnston is a practicing visual artist who was born, lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. She obtained her Master’s degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2003. Since then Johnston has taken part in many exhibitions and collaborated on various inner-city art related projects. Including a solo show at the bag factory, works for the group show held at the Johannesburg art gallery titled "Negotiate" and being commissioned to make a work for the "Makeshift" project, initiated by the Joubert Park Project and Canadian National Art Gallery. Johnston has organized many art events in and around the city. She currently takes on sculpture commissions and teaches part time and is the workshop coordinator for a visual arts facilitation organisation called Assemblage.

I am interested in contextual values, definitions and symbolisms attributed to materials. I am interested in the notion that things are often defined by their antithesis and that often the formation of a value is around the threat of absence. There is pain and fear associated with absence, with a thing that once filled space both literally and figuratively, now open and vulnerable to be absorbed, used, ignored or quoted. My work almost always refers to a specific historical and cultural context.