Neil Johnstone



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In recent years my practice has become fascinated by immersive multi media event driven works, which have seen me drift ever further away from more conventional printing , painting and sculptural pieces. Instead embracing an all encompassing approach which strives to link all the aspects of a body of work together be they aesthetic, emotional, sensory , intellectual or philosophical . The experience of a piece being linked to the multiple experiences of the surrounding connected works. An attempt to address the problem of how to connect and communicate in a holistic fashion ( Gestalt ). A mirror of the way the mind works and collates experiences be they intellectual or emotional . What this means in practice is I will use whatever media, media's I think best suit the concept of the body of work. For example for my most recent solo show I had created to my designs sculptural pieces constructed from dried flowers, dead bees and scented translucent soap . I also used laser cut images based on modified woodblocks of medieval bee keepers, windfall apples along with more traditional print, photographic, video, found objects and painted works. The resulting piece was multi layered in conception, execution and sensory experience. I have recently been using ipad technology to create highly complex source images and then translating them onto the most apposite or pertinent medium . I strive to embrace all the possibilities that the new printing explosion offers whether they be commercial or fine art in origin . My final aim is to marry the medium, image and concept of the piece as directly as possible. In short as an artist I am striving to come to terms and use the opportunities and endless possibilities offered to an artist working in the 21st century. Including the truly liberating opportunities availed from looking back at all of art and cultures history from this vantage point in time. To illustrate this point I can create works that reference cubism, early Victorian botanical photography, images from cloud chambers, colour field works by artists such as Rothko and Pollock , stop motion imagery from bee communication dances and create them into a cohesive singular image. Using the final images as a metaphor for the inner connectivity of existence and the temporal nature of life both concepts heavily explored in eastern philosophy .


Since my graduation in 1986 ( BA Hons ) I have gone through several periods of exhibiting widely and then largely withdrawing from the art scene. During the late1980's and early 90's I exhibited widely in the Stirling area largely in small commercial galleries but also in several open shows at the Smith Art gallery and museum . During this frantic period I worked as a ceramicist working in thrown, hand built and sculptural objects ,I also did stained pieces and graphic commissions for several agencies including cell animation work. At this time I also helped Alec Finlay begin his practice and was instrumental in the launch of his Morning Star press art book imprint. I also exhibited solo pieces in the collective gallery on a regular basis during this period . In the early 90's whilst continuing to paint and do collage pieces privately I totally withdrew from the commercial art world . And instead focused on writing projects publishing a best selling guide to Scottish Literature in 1997 and assisting Alec Finlay in his pocketbook press I also arranged literary events for both Waterstone's and the EIBF. The explosion of technology in the late 1990's allowing the opportunity to create immersive multi sensory multi media works rekindled a desire to place my artwork back into a public arena . In the past ten years I have sold occasionally to an international ever expanding market. placed solo works in numerous shows and also staged my first solo show HIVE which was a collection of works about time ,memory, flowers and bees. The exhibition was multi media and included six feet high bee flower guardians , prints, paintings, found objects , video and commissioned works using dead bee colonies dried flowers and soap ( to see images of this exhibition and these works please visit my blog ) This year I have exhibited pieces on cancer at the Black Cube exhibition and have submitted work to the RSA and SSA .

To see more of my work and gain a better insight to my practice please visit my art blog at

Or to see some of my video pieces visit Http://