Kelly R Johnston participates in autoethnographic research, and treats the body as a site of research and critical exploration. Personal, physical and emotional experiences are used to suspend discrete moments for examination. This is explored to give voice and space to the body’s observations, and help what is ordinarily ephemeral, endure through time. As Johnston addresses their own experience while utilizing visceral materials with abstract forms, they create a space of vulnerability that invites viewers to project their own perceptions onto the work – intermingling their experiences with Johnston’s own.
Johnston investigates these tensions by incorporating mixed-media processes to create visceral sculptures and installations using natural and found materials, and ‘identity objects’ a term Johnston defined as items that have biological, historical or personal significance.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Kelly R Johnston is an MFA Candidate in Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. They regularly exhibit internationally and extensively in the U.S. south. Notably, Johnston was a 2021-2022 Abakanowicz fellow, received the 2020 Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant, the 2019 Emerging Regional Artist Residency at Artspace in Raleigh, opened a solo exhibition at the Durham Art Guild SunTrust Gallery in Durham, N.C., and participated in residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Torpedo Factory Art Center, the Hambidge Center.
© Kelly R Johnston