Frith Johnson


 

Biography

I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be an artist - took art at school and went on to graduate from Witwatersrand Technikon South Africa in Fine Art (Ndip 3 years) and then in Ceramic Design (Ndip 3 years).

My career began producing prototypes for a ceramic ornament company and I quickly moved on to setting up my own business producing promotional gifts and designing a wide variety of things including decals for walls and floor tiles.

When I had my first child in 1998 we moved to the UK where I became a full time Mum, but quenched my thirst for art organising art lessons at my children’s schools and painted murals as a side line. I also hit the books again and in 2010 became a qualified clinical aromatherapist but by 2014 the call to be a full time artist could no longer be ignored...

In September 2014 I took on a studio as part of the Raw Gallery Studios in Eastleigh and my work took a huge leap forwards. In January 2016 I moved to The Yard Studios in Winchester where there are approximately 20 working artists providing a great deal of inspiration.

In June 2016 I set up a ceramic studio to work alongside my painting and love the way my painting influences my ceramic design and vice versa.

I find it very exciting making subject matter work in different mediums. When working with oil paint the paint mimics the energy between objects. One object will steal the colour from another and so affect each other much like reflections, and I like to push how far this can be taken before the object loses a sense of self.

Clay can be worked on in so many different levels and I really enjoy the layering that I am achieving with slip, glaze and the sculptural form. When the influence of a ceramic piece is taken back to the two dimensional surface it opens your eyes to other opportunities like the narrative, design, pattern or a motif that has been carried through sculpturally.

My work normally has conceptual undertones of melancholic themes. I particularly like to work by juxtaposing somewhat romantic compositions with a sharp, peculiar and satirical edge.