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      Photograph by Alan McAteer
Julia Johnstone (she/her)
Artist/arts facilitator based in Glasgow

My practice is underpinned with ideas of ephemerality and temporality, such as recording sunlight through painting and drawing, which is part of an ongoing investigation into documentation and the different methods of recording passing moments. My collaborative film works investigate ideas of live experience, documentation, and the ways in which we navigate virtual media. These collaborations also explored ideas of constructing characters and narrative, as well as notions of glamour, costume, and performativity. I explore colour and gesture through my painting and print-making practice, often looking to historical family photos, found objects and my surroundings as inspiration to form an abstracted composition. The provisional nature of this process allows me to explore the materiality of paint and other materials, and play with the pictorial and psychological spaces that unfold. Dance also forms a part of my practice, as an amateur hip-hop and contemporary dancer, the synthesis of colour and gesture in my compositions is informed by the perception of movement, spatiality, and time.


2021-2023 Master of Fine Arts, The Glasgow School of Art, UK (currently studying)
2017-2021 BA(Hons) Painting and Printmaking, The Glasgow School of Art, UK (2:1)
2019-2020 The Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Budapest: Erasmus Exchange Programme
2017-2018 Tramway Visual Arts Studio, Glasgow, UK

Selected Exhibitions
March-April 2023: New Contemporaries, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
April 2022 MFA Interim Show, Florence Street School, Glasgow
March 2022 Glasgow Short Film Festival, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow
December 2021 GSA Christmas Card Premiere, Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow (and online)
November 2021 Hold This Space, Stow College, Glasgow
July-September 2021 Interlude Films, SWG3/Transmission Gallery/ISO Design, Glasgow
July 2021 The Alternative Degree Show Festival, The Briggait, Glasgow
June 2021 The Glasgow School of Art Degree Show (online)
December 2020 Sixfoot Gallery Christmas Show, Sixfoot Gallery, Glasgow
November 2020 Saltspace Member Show, Saltspace, Glasgow
June-September 2020 Online Art Print Sale (fundraiser for the Scottish Refugee Council), Glasgow
March 2020 Rabbit Skin, The Glue Factory, Glasgow
December 2019 The Shop Window, Békési utca, Budapest
November 2019 Knee Deep In Elbows, G7, Vienna
May 2019 Painting Parade, Glasgow
February 2019 Vacant||Occupied, The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow
April 2018 How To ______ Better, G.Y. Festival, Glasgow
December 2017 Representing Reality, The Art School, Glasgow
June 2017 Tramway Visual Arts Studio Portfolio, Tramway, Glasgow

National Library Purchase Prize 2023: The Mouse (2021)

Scotland’s Year of Stories Short Film Award at the Glasgow Short Film Festival: Nomination for The Fox (2021)

RSA New Contemporaries Annual Exhibition 2023: Selected Artist

Scotland + Venice Professional Development Programme
Senior Exhibition Assistant at Alberta Whittle’s exhibition, deep dive (pause) uncoiling memory, at the Venice Biennale 2022 (July-September 2022): 
I was the first point of call in Venice for the Scottish collateral event at the Venice Biennale 2022, Alberta Whittle’s deep dive (pause) uncoiling memory exhibition. This role included invigilating the exhibition, taking care of the artwork and space, welcoming in visitors and providing information and tours. This also included managing rotas for a team, welcoming in and training new members of the programme each month. Overall, this was a unique opportunity to build lasting global connections, grow a professional network, experience a vast range of contemporary art and gain a broad experience of the process of international arts development.

Director and producor of the Glasgow School of Art Christmas Card short film, The Mouse (July - December 2021): I devised the creative direction and organised the cast and crew for this production, which consisted of students and graduates from the Glasgow School of Art, City of Glasgow College, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and industry professionals working within the arts and film. I managed the filming schedule and location in response to the fluctuating COVID-19 restrictions and was responsible for the production budget including processing/recording expenditures and phasing/forecasting the cash flow for the materials and equipment. 

Working Space Graduate Mentoring Programme/Mentee (September - December 2021):
Mentoring programme organised by the Glasgow School of Art Enterprise Studio in which a graduate is paired with a creative professional. This provided an opportunity to have four virtual 1:1 support meetings to receive advice and guidance from an industry professional to build professional knowledge, network and confidence. This was with the aim to help to develop a realistic plan of action to progress my career ambitions.

Co-curator, producor and host of the Interlude Films Festival at SWG3, Transmission and ISO Design (April - October 2021): A student led film festival as part of The Alternative Degree Show, featuring short films created by Fine Art Graduates from the Glasgow School of Art 2020 - 2021. I was a key organiser of the Interlude Film Festival. I curated, produced and hosted several film screenings in different venues around Glasgow. I was required to speak in front of a large crowd (100+) and welcome guests into the venue. I oversaw and evaluated 40+ proposals from artists/filmmakers, liaised with venue directors/staff and lead the promotion, advertisements and mail-outs of the events.

The Fox/Mackintosh Projection, The Glasgow School of Art Degree Show (January - June 2021)A large-scale projection piece featuring recorded performances of The Fox onto the Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art building. I produced and directed this large-scale projection piece in which I performed as the character of The Fox. This event was broadcast via The Glasgow School of Art Degree Show (online showcase) for the public to tune in and view the event as live. The GSA Degree Show reaches a broad, yet targeted, audience of over 170,000 through the School’s channels. I coordinated, communicated and liaised with the Director of Strategy and Marketing, Senior Project Manager of the Mackintosh Restoration, senior staff at The Glasgow School of Art and external companies. I lead the event production team and oversaw the install/deinstall of events. I ordered and organised the equipment and materials for the events (both the recorded performances and projection event). I was responsible for writing and updating the risk assessment forms and adhering to Health and Safety measures within COVID-19 guidelines.

The Fox, short film (August 2020-June 2021): A collaborative film project with Eirini Kalogera (Artist/Fine Art Photography graduate from GSA), shot on Super-8mm film, which I co-produced, co-directed and performed in. The project involved complex set design, handmade prosthetics and costume which I collaboratively created. I organised the filming schedule and location in response to the fluctuating COVID-19 restrictions. I was responsible for the production budget including processing/recording expenditures and phasing/forecasting the cash flow for the materials and equipment. I was responsible for ensuring the financial records were up to date, which included all items of expense, income amounts and “in-kind” donations were correctly noted. I oversaw the organising of the equipment and materials for set and filming days. I prepared the funding applications in both written and presentational formats.

Fundraising Coordinator, The Glasgow School of Art STAR (Student Action for Refugees) Society (January - August 2020): Key role in production of online fundraisers and setting up free online art classes for children from asylum seeking backgrounds. Promoted and hosted online events during the pandemic and ensure artworks would be received/sent safely during COVID-19 times.

Co-producer and co-curator of The Shop Window (Budapest) and Knee Deep In Elbows (Vienna) (November-December 2019): Two exhibitions showcased in Budapest and Vienna with a group of students studying in both cities. I organised the location and liased with the gallery director for the Budapest venue. I collaboratively curated and exhibited in both exhibitions. 

Co-producer and host of the Painting Parade (January - May 2019): A project which consisted of students, staff and artists processing along the streets of Glasgow with a painting of their choice. This project was a collaboration between the Painting department at the Glasgow School of Art and the artist group LKL who are based in London. The organisation of this event consisted of 5 months of planning the walking route that abided council and police regulations, designing the map and advertising posters, sending out invitations and receiving RSVP’s to Glasgow based artists, continuously advertising and organising press releases, hiring external companies to provide Stewards and Steward training, contacting the Lady Provost and various local galleries such as GoMA, attending numerous meetings and delivering talks to promote the event.