LIKE THEATRE, LIKE PERFUME THEY ARE DREAMING OF THEMSELVES
Studio 12 Exhibition
Gertrude Studio artist Helen Johnson continued to explore and unravel the complex systems of meaning which define Australian culture and identity in her first Studio 12 exhibition. Johnson’s drawings came together and undid previously held signifiers of Australian culture and history - images which in some way or other have delineated propositions for Australian tragedy - whether through denial, loss, duplicity or failure, and whose meaning has undergone a heavy cultural encoding. The drawings provided mitigating circumstances which broke with the meanings previously encoded in these images - allowing them, momentarily, to renounce their function as vernacular cultural signifiers. Social and political circumstances which have, in a regional capacity, become definitive, were given their druthers: they were free to jump the tracks and became subsumed by other, broader morphologies. Thus, the drawings had one ambiguous, poetic resonance, reconfiguring the iconography by which Australia imagines itself.
Helen Johnson completed a BA Honours (First Class) in Painting at RMIT in 2002. Solo exhibitions include You must have been in strange places, West Space, Melbourne 2004; Live at the Obelisk, Bus, Melbourne 2004; and Impedimenta, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne 2003. Group exhibitions include Smash Your Own Windows, Clubsproject, Melbourne 2004; The Bunyip at the Threshold (with Matthew Brown), Clubsproject, Melbourne 2003; and The Sun in your eyes makes some of the lies worth believing, Little Salon, Melbourne 2003.
[Biographical information current as at September, 2004]