On Tuesday 6 March at 12noon I'll be doing a brief artist talk about my current solo exhibition 'She that came before me', on at Manningham Art Gallery. The exhibition runs until 17 March. Hope to see you there!
Had an incredible interview and photography session with Leah Jing at Liminal Mag. So exciting to be part of that incredible forum for Asian Australians.
Take a read here: https://www.liminalmag.com/blog/pia-johnson
Had a wonderful portrait session with one of my main theatre collaborators Adena Jacobs. I have known her for a very long time, and rather than photograph her rehearsal process or productions, I got to photograph her!
Very excited to announce my upcoming solo exhibition at Manningham Art Gallery - She that came before me, opening 28 February and runs until 17 March. The work features archival images from the family album, new photographs and video work.
Pia Johnson’s artistic practice investigates issues surrounding cross cultural difference, diaspora and identity – concerns that flow from her mixed cultural background of Chinese Straits and Italian-Australian descent.
She that came before me is an artistic journey into Johnson’s maternal cultural history created whilst completing an artistic residence in Singapore, the birthplace of her Por por (maternal grandmother).
The works that feature in the exhibition draw upon her family archive of photographs, shared stories, familiar places and the strong desire to be more.
Gallery link and details here
In the recent exhibition All We Can't See at Yellow House Gallery, Sydney I created a series of 3 works in response to one of the Nauru Files published in The Guardian a few years ago. Here are the works and the details of the file, all works are for sale.
28 SEPTEMBER 2014
I was asked on Friday (26-9-2014) by a fellow teacher [REDACTED 1] if I would sit with an asylum seeker [REDACTED 2] who was sobbing. She is a classroom helper for the children. A secondary teacher assistant [REDACTED 3] was present. She talked about several situations, some from Christmas Island, some from RPC3. She reported that she has been asking for a 4 minute shower as opposed to 2 minutes. Her request has been accepted on condition of sexual favours. It is a male security person. She did not state if this has or hasn’t occured. The security officer wants to view a boy or girl having a shower.
There has been some incredible press coverage for the exhibition - very proud to be part of this, and featured. Links below.
I am part of an incredible group of artists part of the group exhibition responding to the Nauru files : All We Can't See. It opens tomorrow. My image has been used as the main image...
In August 2016 The Guardian published The Nauru Files, leaked incident reports written by staff in Australia’s detention centre on Nauru between 2013 and 2015. These files detail 2,116 individual cases of assault, sexual abuse, self-harm, child abuse and abhorrent living conditions endured by asylum seekers in the care of the Australian Government. Despite the harrowing nature of the files, the centre continues to operate as before – the conditions remain and the abuse is ongoing.
‘All we can’t see’ exhibition aims to raise awareness and to humanise the individuals the Nauru files are about. I am very privileged to be showing work for this important show.
When: 2nd February – 10th February 2018
Where: The Yellow House, 57-59 Macleay Street Potts Point, Sydney
More info: www.allwecantsee.com insta:@allwecantwee
2017 you have been kind! What a great year!
I am so grateful for having my artwork exhibited on a wall most of the year - highlights including Closing the Distance curated by Sophia Cai, being a finalist in the Maggie Diaz Photographic Prize for Women and the Martin Kantor Portrait Photography Prize at the Ballarat International Foto Biennial, commissions from Punctum Inc for AsiaTOPA and Port Fairy Spring Music Festival opening night piece My Mother's Mother, The Confessional at Mailbox Artspace, and of course my curatorial debut of Chinese Whispers and Other Stories at PhotoAccess and Blindside.
This year I got to photograph some brilliant live arts performances, and lots of fantastic talented artists and performers. In mainstage and independent theatre sectors, across artforms and a range of venues, for theatre, dance, hybrid, opera and classical music. I have so many favourites but a few stand-outs are Elephant Man and Testament of Mary at Malthouse Theatre and Fraught Outfit's two part work The Book of Exodus. Every portrait session I love, and I can't get enough of them - intimate, funny, full of energy and poise, it's a privilege everytime, with every person.
I major highlight was to work with ANAM again for the 9th year, on creating another amazing season brochure and imagery, headshots, and on-going documentation of classical music making, teaching and activity. I am so utterly flattered when ever I head to South Melbourne Town Hall - so many images we have made together hang on the walls!
TEACHING & STUDY
Teaching is a relatively recent (2 years) addition, but one that I am enjoying thoroughly. Both teaching and continuing my journey as a PhD candidate has been consistently providing new insight into my practice and forging new and great relationships.
I couldn't have done this year without the support and love from everyone.
In particular my incredibly talented, inspiring, hard working, loving husband Paul. He is my artistic sounding board, number one supporter and rock when I crash. Thank you. He has been nominated and been given numerous accolades this year including being the recipient of the prestigious Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship for Theatre. We got married this year, celebrating 10 years together, our beautiful 3 year old and life in the Macedon Ranges - life is good!
Next year is set to be big (but hopefully not as nuts) year too. I begin with a residency at the National University of Singapore - College of Alice and Peter Tan in January, thanks to Greg Petersen there. Very excited to announce a solo exhibition at Manningham Art Gallery in February which will feature work from Singapore. I am part of the group exhibition with an extraordinary line up of artists All We Can't See - illustrating the Nauru Files in Sydney. And last but not least, I will be venturing on another curatorial project later in the year - more details to come in time!
Happy New Year and be safe
ANAM's JOY for Christmas photo... so much love!
New portrait of my talented man Paul, theatre lighting and set designer, dramaturg and constant inspiration.
What a fabulous project to photograph! A theatre/music spectacle by JOF and Sam Halmarak at Artshouse called We Are Lightning! Congrats guys
Matt Hoy is a talented cellist, music curator/programmer and all round fabulous person to hang out with. He's about to go out on his own after many years at the Australian National Academy of Music (where I met him), and I can't wait to see what he'll do next!
Spent a lovely morning taking portraits of the inspiring Wiebke Kleine for her new website launching soon. Wiebke is a life coach and German teacher.
Had so much fun creating some publicity and promotional images for JOF and Sam's show We Are Lightning!
Some of my favourite production shots from the Testament of Mary at Malthouse Theatre. Exquisite visuals and incredible theatre making.
On until 2 December, The Confessional curated by Alice Dickins and Carly Richardson is a lovely intimate little group show at Mailbox Art Space. Featuring work by :
Pia Johnson, Lucy Foster, Julia Powles, Gracia & Louise, Stephanie Karavasilis, Laura McPhee-Browne
The work I have included is called 'Weft' and is the beginnings of a new body of work around the family archive, memory and time.
Incredible shoot with Jack Bailey, cellist the other day, had a couple of hours to hang out and make pictures during his trip back from the UK, performing with ANAM alumni.
Final instalment for Book of Exodus by Fraught Outfit and an incredible ensemble of children.