In this selection of never before showcased works, the artist explores environmental collapse and the implications it will have on humanity. Knowing that our environment is changing at an accelerated pace due to global warming, humanity must quickly adapt by re-imagining and re-designing the structures in which we live. Johnstone shows that it is not the physical structures alone which must change, but also the underlying structures of our society which need to be rethought. Johnstone’s work investigates humanity’s relationship with Earth’s landmass, foreseeing the mounting pressures caused by the demands of a rapidly growing population in the face of diminishing habitable space. In Build on Stilts, Johnstone investigates in particular, the necessity to adapt to rising sea levels and the objects we may construct to aid the survival of the most vulnerable in society.
The sculptures featured in Build on Stilts are created in response to the urgent questions of the near future, such as: ‘Where will we farm? Where do we live? How will we interact?’. Although the works follow a logical thought process, they end up generating more questions rather than providing solutions. Though understood as sculpture, the works often verge on the boundaries of architecture and design. This is an approach to sculpture which Johnstone has adopted in previous works such as ‘Flat Pack Mobile Habitat’ (2017). A further element which is crucial to Johnstone’s vision as an artist is his use of modular elements. In previous works such as ‘The Optimum Growth of Grass’ (2015), modular elements are repeated and come together to form the larger structure of his sculpture. In his works for the upcoming exhibition, Johnstone wishes to incorporate a narrative element into the module to superstructure dynamic. The sculptures of Build on Stilts are to play on the flux and inevitable interrelation between microcosm and macrocosm. These ideas can then expand to the actions of the individual which as a collective become a greater movement and have the potential to alter society as we know it. The artist sees himself not only as a commentator and illustrator of current events but also as a module of the superstructure we call society. As a catalyst of ideas, the artist intends to inspire a conversation on ways in which humanity may adapt to imminent environmental threats.
While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Build On Stilts are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.
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