In March I spent a couple of hours with art lover Jim Johnston as he visited OTIC, an aural installation that explores the nature of sound at New Westminster’s innovative New Media Gallery. I shot these photos to accompany an article in Tenth to the Fraser magazine.
Jim Johnston doesn’t look like a patron of the arts. He wears a sweatshirt, baggy pants and a faded and frayed ball cap. A shopping bag is his constant companion.
For years Johnston ran a produce stand at the old Public Market at New Westminster Quay. He currently works at a comic book store.
Every day he makes a point of stopping in to the New Media Gallery at the Anvil Centre to absorb and ponder the latest exhibit. Sometimes he just stays for 15 minutes. Some days he lingers for hours.
But every visit “you feel better for being in here,” he says. “Just to see this, to see something, to be transported.”
Photo by Mario Bartel Jim Johnston waits patiently for propane balls of flame to blast through Carsten Nicolai’s installation, 334m/s, at the New Media Gallery in the Anvil Centre.
Photo by Mario Bartel New Media Gallery regular Jim Johnston is always prepared to talk about his ideas and reaction to the installations.
Photo by Mario Bartel Jim Johnston discussed Adam Basanta’s Pirouette with the co-curator of the New Media Gallery, Sarah Joyce.
Photo by Mario Bartel Jim Johnston is enveloped by soft sound in Jesper Norda’s installation The Centre of Silence, one of four pieces that comprised OTIC at the New Media Gallery in the Anvil Centre. Johnston has become a regular visitor to the gallery.
Photo by Mario Bartel Jim Johnston, a regular visitor to the New Media Gallery at the Anvil Centre, pauses to listen to the sounds emitting from tiny speakers in Tristan Perich’s installation, Octave.
Photo by Mario Bartel Jim Johnston takes in The Cenre of Silence from his favourite position.
Photo by Mario Bartel Jim Johnston takes in Tristan Perich’s Octave by walking along the panels of tiny speakers that emit sound.