JOHNS, Greg

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JOHNS, Greg

Over the last two decades, the Australian landscape has become a major influence on my sculpture. It is not however the only influence; over the last 29 years of practice, a layering of ideas has gradually unfolded and evolved. These conceptual notions are now well rooted in this landscape.

The sculpture still, consciously, reaches out to “big picture” themes, but the viewing platform has been constructed amongst the Australian flora and fauna.
I still find strongly that most culturally valuable artwork (including music) has a significant local characteristic; rather than adopting, without questioning, international influences alone. The local, rather than the global alone, provide the unique spices, flavouring which can create a different, significant vision, which can then reach out to the global.
As a sculptor living in Adelaide, the “local” context for me is important. Within 2 hours I can be in the
Flinders Ranges, a wonderful backyard playground. In December 2002, I bought 403 acres at
Palmer in the Adelaide Hills; rain shadow country, similar to the Flinders, with monolithic standing stones, and a rock escarpment populated with the sleeping giants of the Australian landscape, Xanthoria (Yacca’s). This place is important to me. It is where I can walk, get away, dream – when I am not involved with the large scale environmental restoration of the property. Palmer has impacted on several works in this show. ‘Seeing the Land’, Feeling the Land (metamorphic)’ and ‘Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Ground’ to name two. It is a big sky country under which sits an archetypal Australian landscape. A great place to put sculpture in – I have now erected 5 major permanent works out there. They sing in this environment!

Art Prizes / Competitions Whyalla Sculpture Prize 1980.
V.A.B. Grant 1980.
S.A.n Art’s Grant 1981, 1983, 1986, 1988 (part assistance to work, & travel in the U.S.A. and
Europe; Artist in Residence at Rhode Island School of Art ), 1990, 1993, 1996, 1997.
Happy Valley Community Art’s Grant, 1991 (to design a Children’s Sculptural Playground).
S.A.n Art’s Grant 1991 (to exhibit 3 works at Emil Leonard Gallery, New York).
First Prize, REDAS International Sculpture Competition, Singapore 1993.
Art and Architecture Prize, S.A. 1993.
Hakone Sculpture Competition 1992, 1994, Japan.
Award of Merit R.A.I.A. (S.A. Chapter) 1994 (short listed for National Award).
Commendation Art and Architecture R.A.I.A. (S.A. Chapter) 1994.
Award of Merit, B.H.P. Colourbond Steel Award, R.A.I.A. (S.A. Chapter) Collaboration Award,
Artists/Architecture Team, Swallowcliffe Primary School, 1995
Award of Merit R.A.I.A., 1995 New Building, (Collaborative Award) Swallowcliffe Primary School,
1995.
Civic Award (S.A.) Collaborative Award, Swallowcliffe Primary School, 1995
C.E.A.D. Award (National) Australia Council, Collaborative Award, Swallowcliff Primary School,
1995.
Australia Grant 1997 (to develop new studio work)
State and National Heart Awards for design of play ground space 1997
Finalist, Kowloon Station Commission, Hong Kong
National Finalist, Woollahra Sculpture Prize for small sculpture, 2001.
Award of Merit, Collaborative with TECTVS Architects for renovation of Dawson home, 2000.
Stonnington Landscaping Award, Melb. Joint award for sculpture “Origin” and to Landscape
Architects for surrounding landscaping, 2001
Selected sculptor for focal sculpture for entry to Shanghai Art Fair, 2004
Waterhouse prize for sculpture (natural history award) 2004
Lempriere Sculpture prize Finalist 2005