GS Artists: Demian Johnston

Installation detail photograph by Jeremy Gluck

Demian Johnston’s practice builds on a growing body of work with energy concentrated by its confinement – “thinking inside the box”. These ideas value spontaneity, the positioning of objects and making of marks based on inner instinct and expression.

Perverse in its initial conception the practice shows dimensions of unpredictability, naturalness, glimpses into the unconscious, dark and monotonous, allowing the viewer to become a participant in creating discourse, helping the artist try to understand his own internal dialogue and find some sense in this illogical world.

Says Johnston, “It’s time for everybody to stop and look at the world with a view to seeing who is watching us and why. It is increasingly important that people step back, look at themselves, they’re surroundings and the world.”

Installation, Volcano Theatre, 2019 Photograph by Mitja Zupanc

Axe Head to Everything IV

Installation by Demian Johnston

Axe Head Collective celebrates its GS Artists internship with a show opening October 18th, running until October 31st.

Formed in 2017 by four UWTSD Swansea College of Art Fine Art artists, Alina Skorohoda, Demian Johnston, Jeremy Gluck, and Melissa Rodrigues, to considerable aplomb Axe Head’s self-directed debut show, ‘Axe Head to Everything’ opened in March 2018 at Volcano Theatre, featuring in total nine UWTSD undergrad fine artists. The following November the four curated a show of their work exclusively for Creative Bubble, ‘Studio 95 – Promote Harder’. And in March 2019, the second Axe Head to Everything Swansea College of Art group show, subtitled Cut & Run, opened at Volcano, featuring ten artists.

Melissa Rodrigues

With diverse, contrasting work featured, the Collective see exhibiting at GS Artists as a fantastic step forward, presenting a body of work pushing forward their already restive style.

“The Recording of Thinking” by Jeremy Gluck
Photograph by Dylan Fyodor Monk

Instagram @axeheadtoeverything

Axe Head Collective Artist Statements

Alina Skorohoda @skorohodalinaart

Alina’s artwork explores the notion of woman’s duty to the world. She responds to the feelings of obligation that haunt women everywhere. Alina uses domestic objects in her work. Through altering these objects, she questions attitudes, fears and unwritten rules which have formed a hostile environment for women and their behaviour within it.

Demian Johnston @demonstuff

Demian’s practice looks to develop internal mindscapes involving multiple symbols and thoughts to bridge the physical process and mental or spiritual state, and individual and collective consciousness. Building on a growing body of work featuring dynamic installations with energy concentrated by their confinement, his work is rarely figurative, encompassing dimensions of unpredictability and naturalness.

Jeremy Gluck @nonceptualism

Working as a fine artist in digital art, film, installation and mixed media, Jeremy Gluck’s uncompromising works confront the viewer, encouraging a physical, sensitive, or conceptual experience of each. Radical artistic engagement is the mission statement.

Melissa Rodrigues @missbalencantefineart

Rodrigues’ work uses a variety of materials to explore issues of displacement, belonging, and cultural identity. Addressing issues concerning the movement of people across the world, immigration, sense of belonging, cultural identity and the rhetoric of otherness are the bases from which Rodrigues’ work blossoms.

Sarah Poland’s “Treasure in Stillness” at GS Artists

by Clare Ferguson-Walker for GS Artists

Treasure in Stillness” is a dynamic, dramatic exploration of natural colour and movement, lines collide and dance making new tones where they cross, as with all relationships, where energies meet, something greater than the sum of its parts is created. Elements of tribal art are celebrated using paints and inks created from natures own pallet, Sarah makes them herself using oak gall, and iron rust and in this sense the whole process is part of the final works. The space lends itself perfectly with an abundance of light and has allowed Sarah to be unintimidated by size, some canvases are huge. Natural geometry vibrates throughout, tree rings, ripples in ponds, falling rain and snow and in this sense one feels enveloped in something fundamentally close to the Earth, something ancient, almost hieroglyphic at times. The moon is given a platform via a unique photographic technique and is exploited making erratic blurred lines from capturing the heavenly body, aesthetically akin to capturing a ghost in motion, the camera allows the moon to draw. Sarah won the Glynn Vivian Open in 2018 and it’s easy to see why with this bold, kinetic glorious collection.

Sarah Poland Artist At Work

Treasure in Stillness

Sarah Poland has been GS Artist‘s latest resident, using the space to create new works. Supported by the Galerie Simpson Artists team and very generously by a Research and Development grant from Arts Council Wales. On Sunday May 26th, at 2pm she will be quizzed by Artist Alex Duncan about her activities. 

She says of the time, `This opportunity has enabled intense work and playful development through use of the gallery space. Having the extensive space to lay out works and view them all together has helped create surprising relationships and unexpected collaborations. Endlessly moving work around the room, I create situations where I observe the changes in surface, the magic of the oak gall and its ability to change on differing supports. There is a fascinating ‘coming and going’ of the colour and in different moments, colours flicker and come to the surface or recede within the overall structure.

Making larger work I can engage physically and spatially, hoping to build relationships between the materials and the abstract, between nature and transformation,  The presence of landscape and being in it is the source. The project title Treasure In Stillness relates to the wisdom found when one is still and also to the duality of combining an art practice with the challenges of motherhood”