Press Release: There's a rainbow in the road, Caroline Johnson
This is Caroline Johnson's first solo show in a public gallery.
Her highly graphic, graceful paintings and drawings reflect both the vibrancy of recent changes, and the history of Salford and Manchester. Caroline's contemporary urban artworks give a fresh interpretation to the cities' architectural icons while discovering the hidden charm of overlooked corners.
One of the artist's jobs is to see and to re-present to others the beauty of the mediocre and the everyday: the patchwork of old pavements, 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 shape of new architecture. And parallel to this, a river of humanity gives life and breath to the city, those anonymous strangers who move with us through its spaces.
Having recently spent some time in Blueprint recording studio, home of Elbow, music and venues obviously interest Caroline. The intricacy of cables in a recording studio get center stage, the light from the windows on the instruments highlights what our eyes would generally pass over. Images of the Hacienda, Band on the Wall, Salford Lads Club, Blueprint Studios, Peveril of the Peak and The Kings Arms all take their ovation for their architecture and for their cultural significance.
But more importantly Caroline Johnson reveals a view of Manchester and Salford not defined by old cliches, seeing them as vibrant, moving, culturally and architecturally rich cities. There is a contrast in her paintings from MediaCity to Salford Gas Works, Manchester's Town Hall to Urbis, Salford Museum and Art Gallery to Ordsall Hall.
Phil Griffin, Curator, Journalist and Broadcaster says of Caroline Johnson's work:
Caroline Johnson's work has northern attitude. She combines a highly achieved formal approach to urban streetscape with a particular eye for the un-picturesque. Her use of collage drops print onto pavements and catches it in trees and rooftops like wind swept litter. She confronts the undrawable and unattractive and brings them forward; the sheer blank Arndale wall and the black criss-crossing web of tram wires. She does these things with such poise because she seems them so thoroughly.
There's a rainbow in the road, Caroline Johnson exhibition is on display at Salford Museum and Art Gallery from Saturday 23 March 2013 to Sunday 7 July 2013.