“Painting or drawing is my way of processing my incredibly busy mind in the world. Processing memories, secrets, desires, or fears. It is a haven for me to carve out my inner most thoughts and feelings but present them in a way that is almost hidden to the viewer”
Frances Johnston, also known as effjay art is an emerging artist who passionately makes art on the daily out of her busy studio in Newcastle. Her art showcases an obsession with colour, pattern, and repetition. Exploring the anxiety of change and the pressures to be perfect. Through play and experimentation, her art rejects minimalism and pushes the boundaries of knowing when to stop.
“My work is a combination of rage and resistance mixed with sensuality and fearlessness.”
Her work is created through endless layers of aerosol and acrylic paint. The initial veneers capturing a raw emotion - a burst of rage, of pain, of love - that slowly, through a process of palimpsest, finds resolution and clarity in colour and detail.
The final piece representing the bright thread of hope that is built out of darkness. Monochromatic washes compete with Prussian blues, fluro pinks and other punk like juxtapositions. Painted works are often finished with a final, feverish layer of repetitive patterns, scrawled in charcoal, pastel or posca. There are stories and themes behind each of my works, but I prefer to leave them abstract and ambiguous, encouraging the viewer to create meaning for themselves – transferring authorship of the work to the observer.
“My works ask a lot of questions; I don’t like to give the answers.”
When Frances is not creating feverishly in her studio, she teaches drama and art classes to children. She loves to give them a welcoming space, encouraging them to make mess and explore their creativity.
In 2020, she was selected in the NAS (Newcastle Art Space) Emerging artist mentorship. And was also a finalist in the BLUE art prize with Blackstone Gallery in Newcastle.
A Way To Go.