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Susie Johnston

Artist Biography

For the Tatha group show I collected hundreds of redundant keys gifted to me by many people and have repurposed them to create a sited sculpture at the edge of the River Tay. Keys are a powerful metaphor on many levels associated with security, ownership, space and place, identity, domesticity and the workplace. Simultaneously as these keys are no longer fit for purpose and have been discarded a layer of meaning exists tied to loss, inaccessibility, and redundancy

Each single key has been randomly welded to each other materially connecting disparate people and lives together to create the surfaces of one large suitcase which lies on it’s side empty by the rivers edge. The suitcase is a powerful motif and one I have worked with in the past and now revisit. It is now open to being read as a deeply loaded and heavily politicised object in the context of being sited by the edge of the river, washed up onto the shore. 

Found...and Lost I hope is uncovered by the passer by generating questions and meanings in a myriad of ways for the forthcoming group show.

I am a multidisciplinary artist with a practice that bridges painting, sculpture andinstallation based work. I have for over 20 years been drawn to the power ofmetaphor primarily through the use of specific materials which to me embodymeanings and knowledge in and of themselves. I am deeply influenced by NewMaterialism which challenges anthropocentrism and a hierarchy which has it’sroots of seeking knowledge through a Western, Cartesian, I think therefore Iam model of operation. A continued interest in the vibrancy of matterdrives my practice and anchors many of my ideas.  


2014-2015       DJCAD,Dundee. MFA in arts and humanities (Distinction)

1998-99           SydneyCollege of the Arts, Master of Visual Arts

1999                GlasgowSchool of Art, exchange student MFA program

93-96               SydneyCollege of the Arts, Bachelor of Visual Arts Hons (first class)

91-92               LeithSchool of Art, Edinburgh, Scotland

90-91               CentralSt. Martins School of Art and Design, London. Foundation Course

Selected Exhibitions 
Solo Exhibitions

2016                Disquiet                                               FireStation Creative, Dunfermline

2003                (Re)place                                            Galleryof Modern Art, Glasgow

99                    TheWaiting Room                              SydneyCollege of the Arts, Rozelle

98                    PerpetualFallibilism                           Room 35, Sydney

98                    SplendidIndecision                            OpenHouse Gallery, Sydney

                       Inside-Out                                           CanberraContemporary Art Space

97                    SplendidIsolation                               151Regent Street, Sydney

                       DextralRotation                                  Artspace,Sydney

96                    HighJinks                                           SideOn Studios, Sydney


Group Exhibitions

2018                Ways We Work                                   West WardWorks

2018                Platform 2018                                     PMAG, Perth

2016               Oscillations                                         Aegina,Greece

2015                RSA Open                                          RSA Edinburgh

2015                Masters Show                                     DJCAD,Dundee

2014                Re:Cap                                                Patriothall Gallery

2014                Collective Ground                               PatriothallGallery, Edinburgh

2013                CroatiaScotia                                      DoubtfireGallery, Edinburgh

2009                2person show with Kirtsy Lorenz       Touchie Studios          

2008                Prima Vera                                          MarieCurie fundraiser,  Touchie

2005                Sculpture by the Sea                          Upside Down Back toFront

2003                Wish You Were Here                          PALP, Touring show,Cornwall

2002                Sculpturefrom the Sea                       CambelltownCity Art Gallery, Sydney

2001                Sculptureby The Sea                         BondiBeach, Sydney

2001                Vault2001                                          TheArches, Glasgow

2000                CelebratingGreen Spaces                 Q Arts,Derby, public art commission

1999                Interim                                                GSA Rennie Mackintosh Gallery

1999                Ex/change                                           Gallery191, Darling Street, Sydney

1998                Fundraiser                                           CBD,Sydney

1997                LoveLetters to J.Macdonald              151 Regent Street, Sydney

1996                Sculptureby the Sea                          SydneyWater Festival

1996                10-YearAnniversary                           Firstdraft,Sydney

                       White Hysteria                                    ContemporaryArt Centre of S.A.      

                       WhiteHysteria                                    Stripp,Victoria

                       Next                                                    HonoursGraduate Show

                                                                                   SydneyCollege of the Arts

                       Giftings                                                SideOn Studios, Sydney                  

1995               Fanta(sm)                                           Firstdraft,Sydney      

                       Flippant                                               Kinesis,Sydney

1994                YoungDissonance                             Universityof Wollongong                              

Awards and Commissions

2015                Flostunga Artist’s Residency, Iceland

2015                MFA student prize, DJCAD

2014                Scholarship for outstandingBritish or EU student. DJCAD, Dundee University

2002                Glasgow Visual Artists Award

2001                ScottishArts Council, Small assistance Grant

2000                CelebratingGreen Spaces, Environment Week

98-99               Australian Post Graduate Award

                       TheUniversity of Sydney

1998                TheZelda Stedman Award


Associations,boards  & Memberships

CulturePerth & Kinross Board member 2016-2017

VAS                 member

SSA                 member

2000-2004       Engage

2001-2003       NAA

2000-2002       GlasgowSculpture Studios

97-98               Presidentof SCAlumni



2016                Being In Place            Co-curated with Allan Davies, Wasps

2014                Collective Ground       Co-curated with Henry Jabbour,Patriothall

2010                HughMurdoch            Touchie Studios                      

2008                Prima Vera                  Touchie Studios, Perth andKinross.

2002                Slice                            East Kilbride Arts Centre.

Cross-section of Glasgow School of ArtGraduate show from 2002.

2000                Encompass

/engage 2000                          City Museum, Sheffield.

Co-curated with SarahBrown.

1998                21stBirthday Show                21 years ofgraduates work from                                                                                                        SydneyCollege of The Arts.