Bank Street Gallery

Bank Street Gallery
david johnston


It is rare that Bank Street Gallery exhibits an artist “without formal training” but this status is one of which D.E. Johnston is rightly proud. An academic at heart (he is a graduate of both English Literature & Language and of Scottish Literature from Aberdeen University), he has studied the lives and styles of his artistic heroes – and painted - since a teenager. He chimes with the likes of Eardley, Wyeth and Gillies.


These inspirations, whilst not immediately discernible in Johnston’s work, are manifest – look carefully at his images, his attention to detail and his engagement with time. Like Eardley, this local lad of the Mearns is captivated by the land and seascapes there. Like Wyeth, he is fascinated by time. Being self-taught, however, ensures that Johnston’s approach is unique. He enjoyed a prescient wisdom in his youth - casting away “how to” books and magazines. An early trip to a Turner exhibition in Edinburgh afforded the young Johnston an opportunity to compare that Master’s technique against the instructions he was reading. When he realised Turner didn’t follow the rules, he threw away the books and his intuitive creativity took flight.


Throughout his career Johnston has protected his independence but ensured his own development through regularly exhibiting – and listening to criticism. Both can be debilitating but, through perseverance, can provide the most robust apprenticeship; some might argue better than any formal training can achieve.

by shore and field edge runs from 10th august 2012 to 21st september 2012