Newsletter August 2021



I was lucky enough earlier in July to visit The Royal Academy in London and see three great exhibitions – David Hockney (always a favourite), Tracy Emin/ Munch (I have a particular interest in Emin as I lived very close to Margate for several years and worked in education, witnessing first hand the coastal deprivation of the area.) That Emin has managed to use her background to form the basis of her art is powerful and thought provoking, which some people find hard to view.

For me, however, the best of the three was Michael Armitage. I will admit, I hadn’t heard of him until this exhibition. Armitage was born in Kenya in 1984 and grew up in Nairobi. He studied art at the Slade and then the Royal Academy and graduated in 2010. He paints onto a cloth made from bark, called Lubugo bark cloth, which is usually used for funeral ceremonies. It is stitched and holed in places, which he uses as part of the art work. His work is a mixture of figurative and landscape- to me they look as if viewing a landscape through a window, with the reflection of figures and life going on within the glass of the window. I would highly recommend a visit if you are able – the exhibition runs until 19th September.


I have several pen and ink washes in the Alston Art Group exhibition this year at St Augustine’s Church, Alston. The exhibition runs from 14th August to 30th August, Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday afternoons. This is a great exhibition of local art and was sadly missed last year due to Covid. It will be great to see it back up and running this year and I look forward to seeing all the exhibits, which never fail to impress. Following on from the Art Group Exhibition, ALATI are holding a Landscapes of Alston Moor Exhibition, also in the Church. Follow me on Instagram@helenjohnsonartist for updates of this exhibition and my entries into it.


I now have a studio in Northern France, as well as my studio in Alston. I am writing this newsletter from there and have been here for two weeks now. I am loving the new landscapes, as well as managing to produce lots of new work.

In celebration of this new development in my art practice, I am offering a FREE GIVE AWAY starting on the week beginning 23rd August. I will be giving away an original pen and ink wash of studies from my French studio each week for 4 weeks. To be able to qualify, all you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter and/or follow me on Instagram@helenjohnsonartist. It’s that easy! If you are already a subscriber, or already follow me on Instagram, you will shortly receive a number, which will be your unique number. I will then randomly pick a number each week for the weeks of 23rd August, 30th August, 6th September and 13th September. If yours is the lucky number chosen, an original pen and ink wash will be sent to you. This number will remain yours, for any future promotions I may offer. (Please note all contact information stored will only by used by Helen Johnson artist, is stored securely and not shared with anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any time)

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to receive a free original work of art – sign up today or follow me on Instagram@helenjohnsonartist

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