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Alexander Johnson

About the artist

Alexander Johnson grew up in a rural setting in West Sussex, just outside Chichester in the 1960’s and 70’s. His formative years were spent in the shadow of the South Downs walking and cycling around with complete freedom. After finishing Art College in Cardiff, he spent the bulk of his adult life living in cities – London, Barcelona, Nijmegen and most recently Brighton. Now he has ended up back in the countryside where he started, still in the shadow of the Downs in East Sussex, where he has built a studio in Laughton, a small village near Lewes.

Since moving here in 2015, the environment has rekindled Alexander’s childhood memories of the old farm buildings and trees that were his playground as a child. Cycling and driving around in this new area over the last year has had a profound affect on his work. Buildings, trees and pictorial elements are climbing back into the canvasses to make their home amongst the abstract images. The new work is a collage combining memories from his youth with his new surroundings, as if time is elastic and the past can co-exist with the present. He finds it comforting that rural Sussex has changed so little over the last forty years, although cities are becoming homogenised and increasingly unrecognisable to him.

Alexander’s work, even when abstracted, has always been about storytelling; setting down his own experiences and feelings, and trying to present them in a way that he hopes will evoke similar emotions in others. Alexander’s goal is simply to make others feel a sense of wonder and reflect on our own history and its influence on the landscape and the magic of our existence on earth.