Samantha Johnston says about herself:
“I am currently based in London, but previously studied painting at Belfast School of Art (Ulster University) and now completing my MA in photography at Westminster University in London. I tend to be very practice based rather than working in projects. I take my obsessions and passions and create the work from there as I
have all these ideas surrounding my practice. This jolt of excitement and tension that I can not shake off. I have this drive to create new imagery from the influences around me. Never before have I been more inspired by cinema than I have at this moment of time. Directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Douglas Sirk, Roberto Rossellini and Andrei Tarkovsky have opened up a floodgate of imagery for my practice. For me a body of work could last years. All my work is shot analogue, particularly medium format. This body of work has involved building the sets from scratch, and controlling the lighting. Sometimes it can take hours of set up before I eventually set up camera. After the shoot, I then head straight to my studio where I process the negatives straight away. All this is done on my own, which can be very exhausting, but it is always very gratifying to see the developed negatives. As much as I love creating the sets and shooting, I spend equally the same amount time in the darkroom, processing my own film then on to printing. Something takes over when you are in the darkroom, it becomes your safe place. It is these moments in the darkroom that I really love, there is something very comforting about walking into a darkroom and seeing your enlarger and smelling the chemicals.”
Perception, cinema and language are the common themes in this work. Familiar objects are strategically placed in the mise en scene. Each image is a fictional fragment with enigmatic details that are suspended, they are middles with no beginnings or endings, you must make of it what you can with the fragments that are revealed to the spectator. There is no explanation, but a sense of displacement. The viewer is never given an answer for what this meaning is. The known becomes the unknown.