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Kerry Johns: 2023

Kerry Johns: Seacoast. Solo Exhibition 07 - 29 October 2023. Artsite Contemporary Australia.


07 – 29 October 2023

Kerry Johns: SEACOAST.

Seacoast is about Kerry Johns’ continuing encounter with familiar landscape.
The changing complexities of sea, sky and the trees of the NSW south coast have been a continuing interest in her paintings for many years.


At the opening of her 2023 Solo exhibition at Artsite Contemporary Galleries, Kerry Johns announced that due to health reasons, this would be her last exhibition.
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Painting the waters, sands and she-oaks of southern shores, I seem to have come home to a subject I know very well. Everywhere within the landscape I see a palette which inspires me: the softness of greys and the pliancy of whites, the openness of blues, the intensity or subtlety of greens and the purity of aquas are all held within it. It is a subtle subject yet it can also be intense, changeable and wild with ceaseless movement. Within this landscape there is much to excite the painter’s eye. It has been the centre of my pictorial world for many years.
Working in situ with eyes ready to see what is there, the painter may be given the gift of truth. This is not just the surprising discoveries about how things look and relate, but the experience of being part of it that is so important to me. In the studio I work on transforming my initial observation and subjective impressions into cohesive form. ~ Kerry Johns,  September 2023.

Some paintings in this exhibition draw directly on memories of growing up in the Queensland seaside town of Caloundra.  The sea, and its fringe of littoral vegetation of pandanus, casuarinas, banksias and Norfolk pines was Kerry Johns’ childhood domain.
Several of the paintings in this exhibition are of a small tidal waterway called Candlagan Creek near her current home on the NSW south coast. This was her field of operation early most mornings last summer with easel, backpack, canvas and chair, painting under the casuarinas. Her connection with the subject is made by working in this way, ‘en plein air’. It allows the here-and-now perception of Nature and the personal connection that she believes fundamental to expression.
Johns returns to the sea, and its fringe of littoral vegetation with the hand and eye of long experience.

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