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All Rivers Run North

Rachel Johnston

Sat 30 October, 2021 @ Sat 30 October Sun 2 January, 2022 @ Sun 2 January, 2022

Saturday 30th October – Sunday 2nd January 2022

Quay Arts OPEN 2019 winner Rachel Johnston presents a solo exhibition of large-scale woven pieces, objects and photographs, that explore our relationship with place and, in particular, the landscape and geology of the Isle of Wight.

All Rivers Run North, is an exhibition that explores the potential for textile process as a means of understanding the connection between making and the environment. Rachel Johnston’s work is rooted in the structures and symbolism of textile language. She makes objects – woven gloves and shoes – that are worn in specific environments, most often in water. These objects become manipulated and shaped through use to embody a lived ‘moment’ in which layers of memory and physical engagement with a landscape come together. This process then informs the construction of textural, large-scale woven pieces in a new representation of place.   

In All Rivers Run North, the environment of the Isle of Wight becomes the focus, with pieces that reference to the island’s geology and biosphere status. The exhibition title describes a geological peculiarity in that all the main Isle of Wight rivers run northwards, a result of the shift that took place when the island separated from the mainland thousands of years ago. In new work parallels are drawn between the sequential building of a woven structure and the formation of a landscape through time. The seismic shifts and forces that have shaped the island’s landscape will find parallels in the twists and tensions of the yarn. The human scale of the artworks will provoke questions about the consequences of human activity on the island as well as the value of looking and looking again, to find new ways of engaging with this unique place.  


www.racheljohnstonart.com/ @rachel_johnston_art


West Gallery
Monday – Sunday, 9am – 4pm

Saturday 20th Nov at 2pm
Gallery Talk with Rachel Johnston
FREE, all welcome

Two texts have been commissioned as part of this project: one, by Fiona Curran is a response to the artwork in the exhibition, the other by Ian Boyd, considers the nature of creativity and community in relation to the Isle of Wight biosphere.