Midge Johansen is a sculptor, potter, poet, teacher and author (‘The Dinkum Dictionary’ – Viking O’Neil/Penguin Books Australia Ltd. 1988, and ‘The Penguin Book of Australian Slang’ – Penguin Books Australia Ltd. 1966) with an absolute passion for her craft, applying her energies to clay, resins, cast able stones and mixed-media to produce a wide variety of original sculpture and art works. Winner of many awards and prizes, Midge’s ceramic work is represented in the permanent collection of the Queensland Art Gallery – described as an example of ‘West-coast Funk’, she gave permission for this work to be used as part of an installation in the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Her work is also represented in public and private collections such as the Gold Coast City Council, Somerset College, G.C. Potters’ Association, Beachcomber International Resort and the Gold Coast Botanic Gardens.
The inspiration for Midge’s work is born not only from an admiration of the human form – especially the beauty, myth, spirit and flowing symmetry of the female – but also from a desire to comment on what is going on in her life from a female perspective. She often sets out to challenge society’s mores and customs, adding mischief, humour, kitsch and the bizarre to make light of many heavy subjects. Midge embraces the strengths, weaknesses, endurance and sexuality of women whilst commenting on the restrictions imposed by traditional values of chastity and modesty. Whilst contemplating the humorous side of the serious, mundane and forbidden issues of society, sex and gender issues her pieces often reflect humour, innuendo, fantasy and social comment. Not only adept with the human form, Midge is also an accomplished potter, and employs hand-built and slip-cast techniques to create large pieces for sculptural adornment and glaze decoration, including 22 Carat gold and platinum lustres. She also enjoys the incendiary delights of Raku-firing and post-firing reduction and holds many workshops in this technique.
A long-standing and active member of the Sculptors’ Society Gold Coast Inc. and Gold Coast Potters Assoc. Inc., Midge has also applied her vast energies and knowledge to serve on the committees of the Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award and Gold Coast Global Sculpture Prize Inc. She has also been invited to judge several art exhibitions. Midge has a long history of teaching, including ten years with the Victorian Education Department, five years of teaching the Sculpture Course at Gold Coast T.A.F.E. College and many years of teaching clay hand-building techniques for the Sculptors’ Society, which she continues to do today. Midge’s ability to hold ceramic workshops for large groups is often sought by organizations and schools throughout the region, and she continues to pass on her skills in intensive workshops to many such groups, including Beaudesert Potters Assoc., Tweed Unlimited Arts, Gold Coast Potters’ Assoc. Inc., MAGIC, Coomera Anglican College.
Commissions include the employment of a vast body of knowledge in ceramic, resin casting and other sculptural techniques for private, business and corporate bodies such as Beachcomber International Hotel, Avica Weddings & Resort, Clout Design, Gold Coast Botanic Gardens. Midge currently holds regular classes for beginners and advanced students at the premises of the Sculptors’ Society Gold Coast Inc. situated at Mudgeeraba, and also has a kiln-firing service for ceramic artists.
ACHIEVEMENTS, EXHIBITIONS AND EXPERIENCE
2015 Sexy – A Ceramics Expose, Group Show, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace
2014 Group Show, A Tribute to Michael Jackson’s 10 Best Film Clips, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast, QLD
2013 Group Show, The Art of Cirque du Soleil, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast, QLD
2013 Winner of the Trinity Lutheran College Art and Craft Exhibition – Ceramics section
2009 Highly Commended Sculpture – Passion & Desire Exh Sculptors’ Soc
2008 First Prize – John Cooper Memorial Award Sculpture (Fruit Bowl) – Sculptors’ Society Gold Coast Inc. Annual Members’ Exhibition
2008 Third Prize Sculpture, Nude Cold Cast Marble – ‘Just Nudes’ Ipswich Art Society
2007 Commission Public Art Work – Gold Coast Botanic Gardens – leading artist for hand-made ceramic-tile wall mosaic
2007 Second Prize Sculpture, Nude Cold Cast Bronze – Nundah Art Festival
2007 First Prize Sculpture – ‘Lady Fingers’ – Exotic Erotic Exhibition – Sculptors’ Society Gold Coast Inc.
2007 First Prize Handbuilt (bananas) – Gold Coast Potters’ Assoc Inc. Annual Members’ Exhibition Edith Battrick Memorial Award
2007 First Prize Sculpture, Nude – ‘Just Nudes’ Exhibition, Ipswich
Cold Cast Bronze Art Society
2006 Highly Commended Sculpture, Nude – Sculptors’ Soc Ann Members’ Exh.
2005 Commission To construct sculptural resin ceiling-mounted light fittings for the Beachcomber International Resort foyer, Coolangatta.
2005 Highly Commended Sculpture – Exotic Erotic Exhibition – Sculptors’ Society Gold Coast Inc.
2005 Highly Commended Ceramics – Springfest Art Festival
2005 Highly Commended Sculpture – Sculptors’ Society Annual
2005 Second Prize Sculpture – Paradise Kids Art Exhibition
2005 First Prize Ceramics – Paradise Kids Art Exhibition
2005 First Prize Pottery – Paradise Kids Art Exhibition
2004 Highly Commended Sculpture – D’Arcy Doyle Inaugural Art prize
2004 First Prize Raku Ceramics – Qld Pottery Supplies Award Gold Coast Potters’ Assoc Inc.
2004 Gordon Foulds Award Sculpture – Exotic Erotic Exhibition – Sculptors’ Society Gold Coast Inc.
2004 Commission to construct ceramic sculptural wall murals and water feature at Avica Weddings & Resort Facility, Merrimac, Gold Coast Qld
2004 First Prize Ceramics Section – Springfest Currumbin Art Festival
2001 First Prize Wild Life Sculpture – Marymount Art Festival
1999 People’s Choice Award Sculpture – Australian Tactile Art Prize – Acquired for Royal Blind Customs House Society – Sydney
1999 Highly Commended Lustre Pottery – Gold Coast Potters’ Assoc Inc.
1999 First Prize Sculpture – Australian Red Cross Gold Coast & Hinterland Art Festival
1998 First Prize Sculpture – Australian Red Cross Gold Coast & Hinterland Art Festival
1996 Highly Commended Sculpture – 11th Nat Gold Coast Sculpt Award
1996 Cronulla Award Acquisitive Hand-built – Gold Coast Potters’ Assoc Inc
1995 First Prize – John Cooper Memorial Award Sculpture – Society Of Sculptors Gold Coast
1994 Highly Commended Sculpture – 9th National Gold Coast Sculpture Award
1994 RSM Hamilton Award – Acquisitive Sculpture – 9th National Gold Coast Sculpture Award
1988 First Prize – John Cooper
1988 First Prize Hand-built – Currumbin Festival Of Arts
1988 First Prize Hand-built – Nerang Festival Of Arts
1986 First Prize Hand-built – Nerang Festival Of Arts
1983 First Prize Hand-built – Nerang Festival Of Arts
1979 First Prize Hand-built – Nerang Festival Of Arts 1981 – First Prize Hand-built – Nerang Festival Of Arts
Memorial Award Sculpture – Society Of Sculptors Gold Coast