Johnson’s work has always been about storytelling, combining his own experiences with contemporary themes that interest him.
“There are certain enduring interests; conflict archaeology (the scars left on the earth by wars) and shapes from black and white aerial reconnaissance photos my father took from a Spitfire in the war which still thread their way through the work.”
In 2017, the artist completed a project at Deanland, a local ex-WW2 airfield built to support the D-Day landings. The 18-month project, in collaboration with a photographer, has informed his recent paintings of runways, relating back to his father's RAF career.
Unifying his work over the years has been a linear process; “good abstract art always comes back to drawing and the daily representational drawing that I do is eventually refined into more abstracted forms in screen-printed work.”
Johnson’s aim is to produce an antidote to the slick digital and CGI images that he feels surround us on screens everywhere, prefering printmaking where the work-process is left slightly visible.
“I like edges to tell stories about the colour sequence, artworks that look like they have been made by a human being rather than a computer programme.”