John Court: The work between the lines, Spacex Gallery

Artist John Court’s first solo UK exhibition ‘The work between the lines’ opened 29 September and runs until 24 November 2012 at Spacex Gallery in Exeter. Although John’s practice is largely based upon performance, he claims that his practice is fundamentally based upon the practice of drawing, which he began at age nineteen.

John Court, Standing up for 8 hours, 2004. Platform Gallery, Vaasa, Finland . Photo Marcus Lerviks.

John Court, Marking Space, 2004. Liverpool Biennial, Walker Art Gallery, England. Photo Alexander Wolkowicz.

John moved to Finland from Kent in 1997 and has lived and practiced in Finland ever since. He has been living in Lapland for over fifteen years. In an interview with Spacex Director Nicola Hood, John expresses his affinity for the isolation which he finds living in the North. He says, ‘For me, what I treasure the most nowadays – at first I didn’t – is the isolation and to be able to naturally without any influences to focus on the really basic issues of the art practice’. It seems as though this isolation is the key to John’s practice, which is simultaneously intimate and universal.

Even though John has performed several times in England, he believes that his current show and upcoming performance at Spacex on 24 November is something rather special considering it brings together much of his work produced over the last decade or so. The show ‘The work between the lines’ is predominantly centred around language, both the English and Finnish language, the latter which John cannot express himself in despite living in Finland for a decade and a half. Much of John’s practice is influenced by his difficulties with language, considering his severe dyslexia. As result, he largely had to teach himself how to read and write as a young adult and these experiences are drawn upon poignantly in his drawings and performances.

Watch the first part of the interview with John on

Text by Carol Huston


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