play-small play plyr-enter-fullscreen plyr-exit-fullscreen plyr-muted plyr-pause plyr-play plyr-volume
South Australia

Palmer  |  Australia  | 

South Australia

Over the last decade, the Australian landscape has become a major influence on Greg Johns’ sculpture. It is not however the only influence; over 40 years of practice, a layering of ideas has gradually unfolded and evolved. These conceptual notions are now well rooted in this landscape.

Greg Johns is an Australian sculptor, fortunate enough to produce sculpture within the context of our ancient landscape. At the same time, his sculpture connects to universal qualities such as timelessness. The expression of timelessness into form should vary in different places around the world – most of his sculpture has a sensibility about it which is born out of the Australian landscape, and as such can be called Australian sculpture. Very few sculptors in his country or elsewhere in the world have gone down this path, preferring to produce work which is international in style.  At the same time, there is also a smaller body of his work, mostly round circular forms such as “Fractal Mandala”, which are symbolic of interconnectedness and do not connect specifically to any place. Form wise and conceptually these works are international in style; they do not reflect the “flavour” of a particular place. 

In December 2001 Greg Johns bought 405 acres of rural land at Palmer, an hour North of Adelaide, which is the capital city of South Australia where he lives. His intention was to place his sculpture in this dry landscape, creating a symbiotic relationship between the sculpture and this ancient landscape. Concurrently a large scale environmental restoration was initiated, restoring an environment devastated by European colonization. Around the world, many landscapes, often lovingly cared for by indigenous people over thousands of years, were also brought to points of collapse by colonization. A big story is being told at Palmer. He has placed about 45 sculptures there, they co-exist with the place and “speak” of protecting it.

Equally importantly, Greg Johns has developed a body of work which is mostly different to sculptures produced in other locations around the world. Sculpture globally is an ongoing, unfolding story which is best generated out of real situations, rather than commercially driven ones. He hopes that he has added to that ongoing story. Sculpture also makes contemporary, revealing statements about the time frame in which it is made. On both of these levels, his intention has been to produce a significant body of work which will stand the test of time.

For more information on the Palmer Sculpture Landscape, see this post by Independent Collectors.

Greg Johns, From the Centre to the Centre, 1986, Corten steel, 33x100x58 cm, Artist’s collection, South Australia
Greg Johns, From the Centre to the Centre, 1986, Corten steel, 33x100x58 cm, Artist’s collection, South Australia
Greg Johns, Horizon Figure (from the series), Corten steel, 2001, 236x345x80 cm, Collection: Palmer Sculpture Landscape, South Australia
Greg Johns, Horizon Figure (from the series), Corten steel, 2001, 236x345x80 cm, Collection: Palmer Sculpture Landscape, South Australia
Greg Johns, Squared Circle, 1985, Corten steel, 350 cm high, Collection: Carrick Hill, South Australia
Greg Johns, Squared Circle, 1985, Corten steel, 350 cm high, Collection: Carrick Hill, South Australia
Greg Johns, Guardian Figure (from the series), Corten steel, 1993-1995, 500 cm high, Collection: REDAS, Singapore
Greg Johns, Guardian Figure (from the series), Corten steel, 1993-1995, 500 cm high, Collection: REDAS, Singapore
Greg Johns, Returning Figures (installation), Corten steel, stainless steel, 2005, 11 pieces 210 to 650 cm high, Collection: Dario de Ibiza, Spain
Greg Johns, Returning Figures (installation), Corten steel, stainless steel, 2005, 11 pieces 210 to 650 cm high, Collection: Dario de Ibiza, Spain
Greg Johns, Fugue, Corten steel, 1997/1998, 475 cm high, Collection: State Gallery of South Australia
Greg Johns, Fugue, Corten steel, 1997/1998, 475 cm high, Collection: State Gallery of South Australia
Greg Johns, From the Horizon – To the Horizon, Corten steel, stainless steel, iron stone, 2000/2001, 600 cm high, Collection: City of Marion, South Australia
Greg Johns, From the Horizon – To the Horizon, Corten steel, stainless steel, iron stone, 2000/2001, 600 cm high, Collection: City of Marion, South Australia
Greg Johns, The Dance Continues..., Corten steel, 1987/1988, 850x850x950 cm, Collection: Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia
Greg Johns, The Dance Continues..., Corten steel, 1987/1988, 850x850x950 cm, Collection: Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia
Greg Johns, Birth (also titled Origin), Corten steel, 1999, 500xx750x475 cm, Collection: Gandel, Victoria, Australia
Greg Johns, Birth (also titled Origin), Corten steel, 1999, 500xx750x475 cm, Collection: Gandel, Victoria, Australia
Greg Johns, Floating Figure, Corten steel, 390 cm high, Collection: Palmer Sculpture Landscape, South Australia
Greg Johns, Floating Figure, Corten steel, 390 cm high, Collection: Palmer Sculpture Landscape, South Australia
Greg Johns, Seeing the Land Feeling the Land (Metamorphic), Corten steel, 4 pieces 255x185x40 cm, Collectyion: Palmer Sculpture Landscape, South Australia
Greg Johns, Seeing the Land Feeling the Land (Metamorphic), Corten steel, 4 pieces 255x185x40 cm, Collectyion: Palmer Sculpture Landscape, South Australia
Greg Johns, Rhythm, 1978, Corten steel, 800x210x210 cm, Collection: City of Holdfast Bay, South Australia
Greg Johns, Rhythm, 1978, Corten steel, 800x210x210 cm, Collection: City of Holdfast Bay, South Australia
Greg Johns, Horizon Figure (from the series), Corten steel, 1999/2000, 290x76x400 cm, Collection: Palmer Sculpture Landscape, South Australia
Greg Johns, Horizon Figure (from the series), Corten steel, 1999/2000, 290x76x400 cm, Collection: Palmer Sculpture Landscape, South Australia
Greg Johns, The Settled Explorers (installation), Mild steel, 2007, 4 pieces 225x37x47 cm, Collection: Palmer Sculpture Landscape, South Australia
Greg Johns, The Settled Explorers (installation), Mild steel, 2007, 4 pieces 225x37x47 cm, Collection: Palmer Sculpture Landscape, South Australia
Greg Johns, End of the Line, Corten steel, 2019, 600 cm high, Collection: Ahrens Steel, South Australia
Greg Johns, End of the Line, Corten steel, 2019, 600 cm high, Collection: Ahrens Steel, South Australia
Greg Johns, From the Centre – To the Centre, Corten steel, 275x475x350 cm, Collection: Gandel, Victoria, Australia
Greg Johns, From the Centre – To the Centre, Corten steel, 275x475x350 cm, Collection: Gandel, Victoria, Australia
Greg Johns, Guardian Figures, Corten steel, 1991/1992, 400 cm high, Collection: Palmer Sculptural Landscape
Greg Johns, Guardian Figures, Corten steel, 1991/1992, 400 cm high, Collection: Palmer Sculptural Landscape
Greg Johns, Seeing tha Land, Feeling tha Land (Shedding Figure), Corten Steel, 2006, 240x99x112 cm, Collection:
Palmer Sculptural Landscape
Greg Johns, Seeing tha Land, Feeling tha Land (Shedding Figure), Corten Steel, 2006, 240x99x112 cm, Collection: Palmer Sculptural Landscape
Greg Johns, Land Lines, Corten steel, 2016, 210x130x2500 cm, Collection: City of Gawler
Greg Johns, Land Lines, Corten steel, 2016, 210x130x2500 cm, Collection: City of Gawler
Greg Johns, Swaying Whisperers (Songs of The), Corten steel, 2015, 210x297x10 cm, Collection: Palmer Sculpture Landscape
Greg Johns, Swaying Whisperers (Songs of The), Corten steel, 2015, 210x297x10 cm, Collection: Palmer Sculpture Landscape
Greg Johns, The Story Tellas, Corten steel, 2015/2016, 4 pieces 270-290 cm high, Collection: Palmer Sculptural Landscape, South Australia
Greg Johns, The Story Tellas, Corten steel, 2015/2016, 4 pieces 270-290 cm high, Collection: Palmer Sculptural Landscape, South Australia
Greg Johns, Black Fractal Mandala, 2002, Corten steel, burnt red gum, 132x116x40 cm, Artist’s collection, South Australia
Greg Johns, Black Fractal Mandala, 2002, Corten steel, burnt red gum, 132x116x40 cm, Artist’s collection, South Australia

All images courtesy of Greg Johns