Sandra Johnston’s artworks often involve exploring the aftermath of trauma through acts of commemoration that exist as forms of live testimony and empathetic receptiveness. Her performances are experiential in nature, based on improvisational processes that explore physical states of responsiveness, formed in relation to the actualities of specific situations and the moment of making. Actions are assembled using mainly found objects, each offering the Johnston different kinds of tactile stimulation, informing through memory and haptic perception – as opposed to conceptual devising. The performances are intended as propositions, whereby the audience observes the emergence of latent relationships between materials and gestures, offered as ‘provisional behaviors’ and existing unapologetically as irrational, incomplete and mutable encounters.
Johnston has held several teaching and research posts including the AHRC Research Fellowship at the University Of Ulster, Belfast (2002), the ‘Ré Soupault’ Guest Professorship at the Bauhaus University, Weimar (2007), and is currently Course Leader of the BxNU MFA at Northumbria University, England. In 2013, Johnston published a PhD research project entitled, Beyond Reasonable Doubt: An Investigation into Concepts of Doubt, Risk and Testimony Explored Through Consideration of Performance Art Processes in Relation to Systems of Legal Justice. Frequently, her work emerges through intensive collaborative relationships, and this interest in collective creativity extends to a long-term involvement in the development of performance art networks.
Johnston’s residency in February 2019 is a Production Residency partnership with Active Archive – Slow Institution: The Long Goodbye The Project Art Centre.
Johnston previously had a residency at IMMA in 1999 – 2000.
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