Jess Johnson’s drawing and installation practice is inspired by the speculative themes of science fiction, mythological cosmology and comic books. Her richly layered drawings often convey amplified psychological states; with her use of wordplay and complex patterning an often humorous channelling of her own agitation and paranoia. Johnson’s installation environments and accompanying drawings depict a parallel world of geometric encryption and symbology; conduits to those brief, phosphorescent moments of visionary divination and revelation.
Johnson uses ink, copic markers and collage to evoke other worlds, future realms and parallel realities. In Wurm Whorl Narthex, Johnson presents eleven intricate new works on paper, inspired, in her words, by ‘exceptionally unique world views and belief systems’. Johnson was born in New Zealand and is based in Melbourne. She has exhibited at public art institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, The National Gallery of Victoria, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Artspace (NZ), Christchurch Art Gallery (NZ) and Tate Modern (UK). In 2007 she exhibited at Utopian Slumps Collingwood with This is not a Love Schlong. From 2008-2011, Johnson was the co-founder and co-director of Hell Gallery, which ran from her home in Richmond. She is a current Gertrude Contemporary studio artist and recently held a three month residency at Tokyo Wonder Site. Forthcoming exhibitions include Primavera 2013: Young Australian Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2013 and Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013-14. Johnson’s work is in the Artbank and Christchurch Art Gallery collections, as well as various private collections in Australia and overseas.