Art and creativity in people's consciousness is all things to all people and a profound reflection of man's relationship with life.
Art facilitates an intimate process of communication with self and the world we build around us, reflecting a panopoly of memories and emotions, drives and intents. Art is a confluence of chance, observation and memory that shapes our process of self-individuation through change and renewal, learning and understanding. This ongoing stream of creative experience explores the mysterious, the sublime, the unexpected, the often obscure and otherworldly, bringing ephemeral moments of profound meaning into being. Art is a celebration of life.
Our engagement with art, culture and the constant flux of the world about us defines our sense of destiny and who we are as peoples living in different cultures, from small groups of people to whole societies. Culture is a social heirloom passed down the generations which imparts significance and meaning to our way of life and remains open to re-interpretation and manipulation, and is in a constant state of flux. Art and culture is an ever changing entity that shapes the world as we know it. It's a celebration of living in all its complexity and an intimate expression of the human condition.
Within our present milieu, where cultural values are becoming homogenised and losing their individualism and autheticity, art and creativity has the definite potential to fill the void that the capitalist dream leaves in its wake.
Andrew Johnson was born (1965) in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, and completed his secondary education in 1981 at Cyfarthfa High School. He returned to full time education in 1987 and studied a Foundation Course in Art and Design at Newport College of Art, South Wales, after which he completed a B.F.A. (Hons) and M.F.A. at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, Scotland, where he lived until 1994.
During his college years, his professional art practice was concerned with the socio-political turmoil of the declining mining industry, and he spent four years working photographically alongside the miners of Taff Merthyr Colliery, South Wales, until its closure in 1993. He worked empathically with the miners and produced a large body of photographic work which was exhibited nationally.
Back in Scotland, he co-ordinated a programme of workshops in a Young Offenders Institution, an Alcoholics Rehabilitation Unit, and was commissioned to undertake a project in a new architectural model of a residential home for the elderly. Empathy and humanity became cornerstones of his photographic practice.
Wales became his home again in the mid 1990's and photography, painting, collage, regular exhibitions, and an artist in residence programme, helped further his creative practice. He subsidised his work through part-time teaching.
In 1996 he spent fourteen months travelling Central America which was highly influential to him. Using a small, unobtrusive camera he recorded a panopoly of everyday experiences and generated a new body of work for exhibition.
On his return to Wales in late 1997, he was commissioned to creatively promote a new initiative that was set up to help local people experience outdoor pursuits and orienteering skills. He was given free artistic licence to creatively develop the project using photography. He also set up a a dynamic series of workshops to explore Youth Culture and Social Identity, at different Youth Clubs in the South Wales area. In 1998 he had a long struggle with personal trauma after a near fatal motorcycle accident which side-shifted his creative practice for a number of years, and opened a whole new chapter/experience of life.
Moving to Ireland in 2002, he established himself as a core member of a prominent artists' collective and worked with painting, photography and video works. Collaboration was an important part of his art practice working with a Psychotherapist and Author. He set up a successful International, Live Art, Music and Multimedia Event, to great acclaim, and won funding from Cork 2005, European Capital of Culture.
He now lives in South Wales working with painting, video work and photography and works as a lecturer.
Andrew Johnson graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, in 1992, with a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts- Hons) and an MFA (Master of Fine Arts). In 2012 he graduated with a Distinction PGCE. He has exhibited in the UK, Ireland, Europe and America, in solo and group shows.