Johnson develops his works as intricately assembled paper ‘mosaics’. The images he works from are cut into jigsaw-like pieces, “each element is hand-cut, hand coloured and then interlocked back into itself.” Johnson explains. “The whole surface is completely flat, and they operate as if they are paintings. My work is very lovingly handcrafted and labour-intensive, and I think about them as almost something that a monk from the Middle Ages would make, they have a devotional or possible religious quality to them. That’s where the title Brother Benedict comes from. They’re half about the everyday, and half about other more thoughtful things, and suggest ideas about spiritualism or the contemporary sublime. Youth culture is an undercurrent in my work, it’s like they’re involved in some sort of group – everyone’s got a logo, like some kind of teenage gang; the one in Brother Benedict comes from a lodge banner.”

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