The Skinny Shop: Jamie Johnson video interview
Jamie Johnson, one of the emergent artists featured in The Skinny Shop's first Culture Label collection, discusses his work and the inspiration he finds in the allotments
Jamie Johnson is a recent graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee and is currently based in Edinburgh and working as an illustrator. Through his use of drawing, collage and printmaking techniques, he creates intricate and atmospheric imagery of a surreal and layered nature. For The Skinny Shop he presents a series of new illustrative works including a tower, puppets, a cave and some arcade machines.
He says, "I take observations from everyday narratives and reinterpret them through my own imagination I guess. Characters from growing up – a lot of my older work was heavily influenced from growing up in Leith and the sort of characters you’d see in the streets there, and also growing up skateboarding. My degree show was based around the myriad of weird characters, constructed little shelters. An homage to a sort of lost era. That really influenced my present work as well because I got quite interested in primitive architecture and what these structures mean to people, how they’re constructed and the various types of shelter, and the inhabitants of them.
"The pieces for Culture Label were done specifically for the project. In this case it was a lot of disparate elements brought together in a seemingly random but constructed manner, to further delve into this otherworldy narrative I’m trying to explore, using components from the every day. I have family in South Africa and I was visiting them for the World Cup in 2010; two of the pieces are specifically inspired by visiting townships which harks back to the allotment aesthetic a little bit. One of the pieces [Puppet Quartet] was based on a Johannesburg street fair, a sort of community project to get kids busy, and they made these giant puppets controlled by sticks, and guys had mini bus hats on and were playing trumpets – it was all quite surreal but a really good jovial atmosphere."
Buy Limited edition prints of Jamie Johnson's work at www.culturelabel.com/artist/jamie-johnson.