Edwards + Johann
Edwards + Johann artists and collaborators have been working together since 2007.
Their work interweaves drawing, painting, performative activities, video and installation with photography. Their images seem both inherently stable yet also subject to temporality. They present a ground in which sensitivities and questions of existence can be played out. Utilising a range of media and methods in their work, their collaborative approach is a process-based research lab. Sole authorship becomes obsolete in the process of making new work and in any of their projects/exhibitions.
“We are a multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural and inter-generational collaboration with a keen interest to explore the gabs, the un-known, the other. Our work has a strong performative and non-prescriptive intention; the viewer has to participate in the uncovering of new meaning. There is no final conclusion to the play…The work is an extension of our process where we engage with each other and the world around us in an unfolding, unpredictable way as we unpeel, connect, play, perform and draw–out points where zones, materials and ideas meet. Shaping peculiar stages of becoming are of interest to us. We seek to connect with communities and individuals. Through shared experiences and knowledge (and a strong participatory aspect) we constantly define and assess our processes of making work together. Drawing and collage are vital processes when developing new work.”
Current work series are inspired by new research and their residency time in Whakatane in 2018. These works reflect on notions of change, chance, vulnerability and the precariousness of life. The idea of transience and the poetics of transformation are at play here. Perilous forces are present when it comes to geological processes and these are somewhat explored. Dichotomies played out here mirror those in human nature; volatility and stability, vulnerability and resistance, weakness and strength, transience and permanence, curiosity and fear. Materiality and notions of the uncanny and sublime are fundamental aspects in this work series.
Edwards+Johann have been finalists in all major New Zealand Art Awards over the years. In 2020 they received two Merit Awards in the Parkin Drawing Prize and most recently they have been selected finalists in the prestigious Wallace Art Awards 2020. In 2018 they received a Merit Award in the Parkin Drawing Prize and in 2017 they received a Highly Commended Award in the Molly Morpeth Canaday Award: Painting and Drawing. In 2016 they have been the Supreme Winners of the New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award.
In 2018 the duo published their book ‘From the Edge of Spaces’ celebrating the first decade of their collaborative venture. (to order a copy of the publication please visit their website https://www.edwardsjohann.com/contact/).
Currently, they both live and work in Christchurch, New Zealand.
More info about their collaborative venture can be found on https://www.edwardsjohann.com/news/
Edwards + Johann created a work for The Nomadic Art Gallery's public participatory artwork, as shown below.