Kat Johnston is a Brisbane-based artist, located in Queensland, Australia. She has a strong sense of whimsy, an appreciation for the ridiculous, and a love of the meticulous.
In 2006 Kat graduated from a Bachelor of Creative Industries (visual arts) at the Queensland University of Technology. She has since gone on to complete a Graduate Certificate in Arts and Creative Industries Management at the same institution, and subsequently achieved a Master of Arts and Creative Industries Management in 2009. During and following her academic studies, she kept up her personal practice, often combining techniques from both artistic and craft-based influences. Having been exposed to the concept of Second Life as a creative medium during her Masters study, she even went on to develop a successful part-time business designing and marketing a variety of products for that massive multiuser virtual-world.
In 2011, Kat moved to Japan as an English language instructor. It was close to the end of her time there that she was introduced to the Japanese aesthetic of rope. While she had explored rope as an artistic medium in the past, her knowledge had been previously limited to western practices. With a strong emphasis placed on the connection between rope-artist and model, and forms that extended beyond the purely practical or purely decorative, Kat was excited to explore what these very different types of rope-work could offer her.
In early 2012, on her return, she re-entered the Brisbane rope scene, and sought out training in techniques traditionally associated with the art of kinbaku and shibari. Attending local workshops and events such as Peer Rope, she built a solid foundation in the basics, with which she could start experimenting with rope more freely, both as an artistic and sensual medium. In the latter part of the year, she did her first public rope-performance in a piece entitled, ‘Capturing the White Rabbit’.
In 2013, Kat travelled to Japan to re-visit her second home, and to immerse herself in the Tokyo rope scene. She attended regular lessons during her trip, and was fortunate enough to be able to witness incredible rope performed by some of the best rope-artists in Japan, and the world. The trip opened her eyes to just how much potential there is to rope, once the logic behind it is fully understood and mastered.
Since her return to Australia, Kat has gone on to perform again at the Fetish Fridays Showcase as part of the Brisbane Leather Pride Festival, attended suspension masterclasses, and both attended and volunteered at the Sydney Rope Festival. She has an ongoing commitment to learning all there is to know about rope, as an aesthetic, artistic and sensual medium – exploring all aspects, from traditional shibari and kinbaku techniques, to decorative weaving and knot-work, and even drawing in influence from traditional handicrafts, such as knitting, crochet and macramé. Her hope is to expose the artistry that exists on the fringe, where definitions of craft, of art and of communication meld and combine to create evocative beauty.