Kerry Johns grew up in coastal Queensland, and after graduating as an art teacher in Brisbane, studied painting with John Ogburn in Sydney. She continued intensive self-directed studies for two years in European museums and galleries.
Since her first solo exhibition in 1979 she has exhibited consistently in numerous solo and group shows in commercial galleries. Her invitations to public galleries include Broken Hill City Art Gallery, Penrith Regional Gallery, Caloundra Regional Gallery, Fremantle Arts Centre and in 2018 she will show in the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery.
Significant recent solo exhibitions include Artsite Gallery Sydney 2017, Form Studio and Gallery, Queanbeyan 2015, Charles Hewitt Gallery Sydney 2013 and Chapman Gallery Canberra 2012. Ezair Gallery in New York showed her work in two solo exhibitions in 2002 and 2004.
She has been a finalist in prizes including Basil Sellers Prize, three times in the Calleen Art Award, Paddington Art Prize, Fishers Ghost Prize (Drawing), M16 Drawing Prize Canberra, the Kedumba Drawing Prize from which her work was acquired for the Kedumba Collection and twice in the Eutick Memorial Still Life Award.
Johns won Eutick Memorial Still Life Award (EMSLA) 2016 (Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery) and the Empire Global Art Award, 2016 (Canberra), was second in the M16 Drawing Prize Canberra in 2015, and won the Basil Sellers Art Prize (Eurobodalla) in 2008.
After leaving Queensland as a young woman, she lived most of her life in the Blue Mountains and on the Eurobodalla Coast of New South Wales. She is now a resident of Canberra, working from a studio in rural Bywong.
For many years her subject matter has been landscape combining the abstraction of visual elements with strongly subjective content. Recently her practice of working en plein air has brought more naturalism into her painting and centred the subject matter on trees and forests. However abstraction and the shaping of visual form remains an imperative in her work.
Kerry Johns is represented by ArtSite Gallery, Sydney.