Nicholas Johnson


Born in Ditchling, Sussex in 1941, Nicholas Johnson studied at the Brighton College of Art (1958-62), before moving on to study at the Slade School of Fine Art until 1964.
He taught at Brighton Polytechnic from 1976 until 1977, and lectured at the University of Benin in Nigeria between 1977 and 1979. He has travelled widely throughout Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Mali, studying the local culture and art. Johnson returned to teach at Brighton Polytechnic in the early 80s. Today, he lives and works in Lewes, Sussex.

Primarily a sculptor, Johnson works in wood and bronze. His life-size or larger-than-life-size sculptures of animals and birds are the result of assiduous planning and physically demanding labour. Of his experience living and working in Africa Johnson has said, “[my family and I] lived in Nigeria and Kenya for some years in the 1970s and 80s, where I taught fine art. I think that this experience pushed me towards sculpture. African art is so overwhelmingly three dimensional, which inspired me to think in sculptural terms.”

Selected Solo Exhibitions
1982, ‘87, ‘88, ‘92, ‘02, ‘17 Browse & Darby, London
1988 Kenyatta University, Nairobi

Group Exhibitions
1982 Gardner Centre, University of Sussex
International Woodsculptors’ Exhibition, Parnham House, Dorset
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
1983 Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
1983-4 City Art Gallery and Henry Moore Study Centre, Leeds
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and Museum, Swansea
Ceolfrith Gallery, Sunderland Arts Centre
Arts Council Touring Exhibition: ‘Drawing in Air, Sculptors’ Drawings 1882-1982’
Bright & Hove Museum and Art Gallery, West Sussex
Tenterden Art Exhibition, Kent
1982, ‘93,‘94, ‘03, ‘05, ‘10, ‘13, ‘14, ‘15, ‘17 Browse & Darby, London

1976-82 Lecturer in Drawing at Brighton Polytechnic, Faculty of Arts
Lecturer in Drawing at Eastbourne College of Art
1977-79 Lecturer in Fine Art, University of Benin, Nigeria
1987-88 Lecturer in Fine Art, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya