Kevin Dalton Johnson
Issues of identity are crucial to understanding today’s society and more specifically to Kevin’s work as a British/Jamaican visual artist born in the United Kingdom. Like many others he experiences a great sense of displacement from living with the affects of limited and fragmented information about their culture and heritage.
The highly emotive and powerful ceramic busts he creates are cathartic and provide a spiritual connection with his African ancestors.
They explore issues of identity, displacement and de-colonisation of the mind and confront an art world deeply rooted in the politics and ideals of a colonial past and challenge this existing structure through interrogation and representation. They are informed by personal experience and post graduate research at The University of Manchester, which has informed the artworks he creates and is influenced of theorist Franz fanon, art historian Kobena Mercer and activist Essex Hemphil, to name a few.
Kevin graduated from Leeds University and for 25 years Kevin has worked in Manchester as a visual artist and teacher. He has taught at numerous schools and colleges and has initiated numerous art projects and workshops across the UK using his extensive pedagogic experience. He is also a commissioned artist who has created the successful permanent sculpture ‘Captured Africans,’ the first memorial public sculpture to memorialise enslaved Africans.
Kevin has had solo and group exhibitions at numerous major galleries both national and international (which were well received) and has works in public and private collections. As an international artist he has been invited to work and exhibit in the Netherlands, Senegal, Dubai, Berlin, and New York on international residency programmes.
He has been involved with exciting curatorship’s the first, ‘Trade and Empire,’ at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, as part of the ‘Revealing Histories’ programme. Presently he is curating an international multi-disciplinary high profile exhibition called Africa 53, showcasing the work of international contemporary African artist for Barnsley MBC.