SUBJECT TO CHANGE An exhibition of sculptural works by MANDY JOHNSTON 19. 04 - 31. 05. 2012
Download as PDF View online
This exhibition reflects the artist’s continued interest and investigation into value systems and the formation of value around substances. Similarly, Mandy is interested in the transformation of value in relation to the transformation from 'raw' material and substances into art and objects. The work consists of a series of 11 vessels made of “found” i.e. discarded, collected and donated materials. The shape of the vessels references the oldest known clay vessel, fragments of which were found in the Yuchanyan Cave in China, dated at over 18,000 years old. By definition a vessel is a functional object, a bowl, capable of holding and containing. It represents abundance and poverty, the possibility of fullness and its antithesis, emptiness. In this investigation the artist relies on the symbolic reading of a vessel, being a container for the soul. The materials the artist has used are, historically, those for which people have given their lives and for which lives have been traded, as is the case of Slaves for Salt. 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 of the material used.