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Student Showcase Archive
Show RCA 2019

John Atherton

Show RCA work

  • Jonas Nykvist Av Klass 1987

    Jonas Nykvist Av Klass 1987, 2019
    Screen Printed Paper

  • Peter Hagser Av Klass 1987

    Peter Hagser Av Klass 1987, 2019
    Screen Printed Paper

  • Camilla Green Av Klass 1987

    Camilla Green Av Klass 1987, 2019
    Screen Printed Paper

  • Måns Jälevik Av Klass 1987

    Måns Jälevik Av Klass 1987, 2019
    Screen Printed Paper

  • Emma Holtze Av Klass 1987

    Emma Holtze Av Klass 1987, 2019
    Screen Printed Paper

Major project:

This Landscape Has Changed

I know there are no demons in the undergrowth
At least I think so

Forming faces in clouds and all manner of things


I see the angry face of a malevolent spirit
a flaming giraffe
a tea clipper in full sail

I transform my perception
I decide to build castles in the air
Invent my own faces in the sky
Literal recognisable objects incongruously appear

This landscape has changed


  • My current body of work confronts the traditional role of the portrait. I am using the portrait archetype, not as memorial or commemoration of likeness fixed in time, but as a catalyst for the personal and private speculations of the viewer. The viewer’s own personal responses projected onto the portrait are the real subject of the work.

    These are, in a sense, anti-portraits. The presence of the sitters, the original subjects of the portraits, are hard to detect and decipher amidst the considered confusion of layers of paper, cardboard and misprinted imagery. These ‘layers of time’ are the history of the portrait, but a portrait that has broken down, allowing new memories to be created in the process. The ephemeral and utilitarian materials of everyday use, discarded, found, recycled, re-used and reappropriated, are employed here as metaphors for the fragmentary nature of memory and the passage of time.

  • Previous degrees

  • BA Visual Communications, Glasgow School of Art, 1999; Foundation Course, Leith School of Art, 1995
  • Experiences

  • Herrljunga Creative Arts Centre: currently being built in Sweden; Visiting lecturer, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham; Visiting lecturer, University of Gloucestershire; Artist's assistant, David Noonan; Gallery curator, Stour Space; Store owner, The Wick Art Store, Stour Space; Visiting lecturer, London College of Communication; Terratag (Clothing Brand): Graphic Designer, Store owner; Rizoma Farm, Rizoma Gallery, Sweden; Hackney Wick Takeover, Victoria and Albert Museum; Creative Wick: Gainsborough Primary School/Olympic Park Project; The Big Draw, Arcelormittal Orbit; The Big Draw, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; It’s A Jungle Out There, Stour Space; It’s A Jungle Out There, Bow Arts Centre; The Floating Cinema, Various Projects
  • Exhibitions

  • 'What A Relief', CGP Gallery, London; 'Images Can Be', The Crypt Gallery, London; 'Save YourSelves Exhibition', Hackney Wick, London; 'Taco, Tricycle,Timbuktu', Stour Space, London; 'Meanwhile Back In The Wick', Prompt Gallery, London; 'End of The World', Emperor Yes single launch, London; Winter Group Show, Bradbury & Blanchard Gallery, Sheffield; 'Roll Over Play Dead', High Roller Society, London; Emperor Yes, single launch, Top Office Machines, London; 'You Are Here', London Framing Workshop, London; 'New Year New Danger', High Roller Society, London
Royal College of Art