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The Rugby Collection

Claudette Johnson

Standing Figure

Claudette Johnson, Standing Figure, 2017, charcoal, pastel and masking tape on paper, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Presented by the Contemporary Art Society (2018) © Claudette Johnson                                                                                                              
Described by Modern Art Oxford as "one of the most accomplished figurative artists working in Britain today", Johnson (B.1959) explores black feminist art through producing large scale work. Johnson finds spending long periods of time working with a sitter quite an intimate act and uses people she is close to, to draw what they represent, rather than who they are, onto the paper. Therefore, her works often do not include the sitter’s names, they are staged encounters and every placement within the image is considered. 

Figurative art can be an extremely expressive way to tap into people’s emotions and reflect on themselves as we are all figures in day to day life. Stopping and observing Standing Figure’s connotations of confidence and strength with an underlying vulnerability gives us time to consider how we portray ourselves to others.