Kerry Johns grew up in coastal Queensland and after training 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 Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery.
Significant recent solo exhibitions include Artsite Galleries Sydney 2017, 2018 and 2021, 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 (winner 2008) 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 the Eutick Memorial Still Life Award.
Johns won the Eutick Memorial Still Life Award (EMSLA) in 2016.
After leaving Queensland as a young woman, she has 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 M16Artspace.
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 Galleries, Sydney.