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Owen Johnson. Early Morning on Brighton Pier (a Conversation with Peter Wright), 2017. Digital print on paper.

Early Morning on Brighton Pier (a Conversation with Peter Wright)

January 21 - June 18, 2017

Owen Johnson

On a jewel-coloured bay, with a calm corrugated surface, two boys meet at the end of a short pier. The slender clouds on the horizon catch soft pastels, but their glow creates deep tones in the shadows of the weathered wood structure. It is early in a distant summertime, or is it yesterday; reminiscing makes a mess of the clock.

A decorative pattern can have as much meaning and intent as a history painting, as much information as a documentary, and can say as much about a person’s world as any photograph. A pattern has the ability to speak of the sublime endlessness of our universe, shifting and swelling within its viewer’s imagination, while in the same breath fragmenting or bordering into another layer of detail.

– Owen Johnson



Owen Johnson’s practice examines pattern from a position of passionately informed irreverence, challenging 20th-century practices of appropriation by exploring historically significant ornamental pattern structures and motifs. Each pattern is ‘mistranslated’ into a new material language, a process that changes its context, allowing each artwork to examine unlikely abstract rhythms, pushing the boundaries of each patterns experience.

Residing in Toronto, Owen grew up in Australia. He completed a BA in Glass at the Australian National University, and an Honours in Visual Art at Monash University, before recently receiving a PhD from the Royal College of Art in London, UK.

Owen has been an Artist-in-Residence (Glass) in the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre since 2015.

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