Caroline Johnson was born during one of the worst winters on record in Sharoe Green Maternity Hospital, Preston. Brought up on a post-war housing estate, archived drawings (aged five) already show a keen eye for detail such as washing on a line and fluff under a bed. By the age of nine she was copying photos of the stars from the Radio Times and had decided to become an artist, feeling that her inherent shyness precluded a career as an air hostess.
Caroline studied at the Harris Art School in Preston, a grand neo-Classical building with sweeping steps leading to Avenham Park and the river. An extra year’s Foundation Course was spent at the palm-clad Falmouth School of Art. Thence to London, and a late Sixties ‘Withnailesque’ existence, leading to a Diploma in Art and Design from the Central College of Art, studying under such illustrious names as Cecil Collins, Colin Cina and Paul Huxley. Caroline now divides her time between Brittany in France and the North West region of England.
Caroline’s work leans towards the urban and the architectural, yet she’s equally happy with landscape, portrait, still-life and the nude. Of her recent Manchester cityscapes, she says:
“Lowry’s downcast crowds on the white pavements had little energy left for the elegance of the urban or the grace and symmetry of the functional. It was up to him, the artist to say, look, here is beauty among the mediocre and the commonplace. My crayon, my paint seek out the dusty forgotten corners of the city and its fresh shimmering heights and I give them life and restore them to you the passer by- the man returning home from work , the busy shopper and the clubber out for fun. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the city’s passing parade! The charm of a humble nettle growing out of the pavement, creeping shadows, forgotten doorways and broken fences. The watchful solidity of a gasworks and the resplendence of red brick , the mystery of parked cars the enigmatic shapes of the renewed and the newfangled- and the glittering giants against the steadfast skies.”
Caroline is a tutor for Drawing and Painting Courses at Chateau l’Age Baston, La Rochefoucauld. Regular workshops are also held in the artists own studio. She has had numerous public mural commissions and artworks for Chambers of Trade in Devon and France.
A recent commission from an Interior Design Partnership for five artworks of Salford old and new, can be seen at Pizza Express on Salford Quays. The paintings have been made into large, sound-absorbant panels. To see more of these paintings and others – click here.
Caroline shows her work regularly at the following galleries: The Colin Jellicoe Gallery, Portland Street, Manchester. Seegallery, Crawshawbooth, Rossendale, Lancashire. PAD Gallery, Preston, Lancashire. Novus Contemporary Art, 230 Burton Road, West Didsbury.
If you are, or know of any local artists (painters, photographers, potters, sculptors, etc) located or based in and around Manchester please let us know, and if appropriate, we’ll try to include them. Contact us directly by email.