Olivia Johnston | Ottawa, Canada

Short bio…

Olivia Johnston is a photo-based artist working in the medium of film. Graduating from the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa in April of 2011, she concluded an artist residency at SPAO with a solo show in March of 2012; this work was subsequently acquired by La Petite Mort Gallery in Ottawa. She has exhibited locally, in Nuit Blanche Ottawa and Festival X Ottawa, and internationally, in New York, Portland, and London. Olivia is currently pursuing practices in the photographic fine arts.

You shoot film because…

Shooting film is the only way I have found to create an accurate depiction of the concepts I want to portray. Film photography sits between reality and representation, not quite aligning with but still representing the real. It adds a beautiful mystery to the process of taking photographs, with the creation of the image and the existence of its physical manifestation separated by time. There is nothing quite like great art; its magic is demonstrated and preserved by film photography.

Your photography feels like…

A combination between Irving Penn and Arnaud Maggs, but feminized. A less clinical Rineke Djikstra. Dutch Golden Age paintings, made photographic. I derive inspiration from so many aspects of life that my art is a convoluted version of everything I engage with. Dreams, memory, and my never-ending fascination with beauty all play a role in my art creation. At its best, my photography feels like an intimate moment through my eyes, a representation of how I conceptualize the world.

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