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Frances Johnston


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Frances Johnston is an emerging artist working primarily with acrylic and aerosol paint to create expressive, raw works that encapsulate the art-making process as a means to process and give shape to her inner world. Utilising a vibrant palette, with fluoro pink her signature colour, her works exude the emotional intensity of one reckoning with a shifting inner landscape of rage and resistance, sensuality and fearlessness.

For Frances, the surface of the painting provides a two-dimensional space through which she can physically "work through" complex experiences like past traumas and grief. Through reiterative mark-making her chosen materials accumulate to encapsulate and document the process of this emotional labour. Through this intuitive process of painting, both artist and artwork navigate toward a renewed and resolved state.

“I make art to process my inner world. My mind, my mental illness, trauma, passions, secrets, memories, longing, and grief. The final piece cumulates into a bright thread of hope, built out of darkness."

When Frances is not painting in her studio, she teaches art and drama classes to children. She loves to give them a welcoming space to encourage their creativity and foster their confidence. In 2020 she was selected as a mentee for the NAS Mentorship Program and in the same year she was chosen to exhibit in the Blackstone Gallery BLUE finalist exhibition.

“I create to tell stories.
I create to connect.
And I create so others believe they can too”.

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