Supported by Arts Queensland.
Christine Johnston is a Brisbane based performing artist/ vocalist/ writer/ musician who has created a diverse range of works for events, festivals, art galleries, theatre, film and cabaret around Australia, New Zealand and Europe. A childhood of bush walking and sitting in the chook-pen, meant developing a keen appreciation for her feathered friends’ varied voices. This ultimately led to a performance career beginning with the inclusion of a gift for mimicking birds. As much known for her singing and experimental use of voice as she is for her dramatic visual style and particular bent on humour, Christine began to combine music and performance with her visual arts background when creating works in and around the Brisbane arts and music scene from the late 1980s.
Beginning with groups such as The Hibiscus Sisters and Gezabel Dinosaur, she then became a regular solo performer in the popular Women In Voice cabaret series (WiV) from it’s beginnings in the early 1990s. This is where a number of Christine’s character creations first began to emerge, such as Angel of Acid Opera, Bird Woman, Brown Woman, Insect Woman and Cardboard Woman and where she began her collaborations with costume designer Selene Cochrane. From here some of Christine’s touring works and collaborations with Lisa O’Neill and Peter Nelson developed, including All Tomorrow’s Parties 1 and 2, Decent Spinster (winner of the Matilda Commendation Award in 2002), Pianissimo, Madame Lark and Fluff, which have toured to The Sydney Opera House and other major venues throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Christine is co-creator/writer/performer of the award winning comedic cabaret ensemble The Kransky Sisters who enjoy national and international touring. With regular live performances and television appearances, their Awards include Sydney Theatre Award 2008, Herald Angel Award for Excellence (Edinburgh) 2006, Australian Mo Award 2005, and The Age Critics Award, Best Newcomers Award, and Green Room Award for Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2004. Productions created for The Kransky Sisters include We Don’t Have Husbands; A Concert … Yes; Baggage; Heard it On The Wireless; Three Bags Full; and Topology and The Kransky Sisters.
FLUFF, Christine’s first work for children, commissioned by QPAC’s Out of the Box Festival of Early Childhood in 2002, continues to tour nationally and internationally. Other children’s works include Warm & Fuzzy and Myrtle By The Water (commissioned by QLD Art Gallery and Asia Pacific Triennial). Christine plays the musical-saw, sings hairstyles and vocalises architecture, peek-hour traffic, sculptures, paintings and the vocalising of surprisingly accurate bird-calls.
In 2011 Christine played Pru Hollows, narrator, fairy-queen and artistic-director of the Burimbadale Music Theatre Society, as part of Queensland Music Festival’s Little Green Road To Fairyland.
Madame Lark continues to tour nationally with regular appearances with Paul Capsis, A Company Of Strangers, Yonder and most recently the Queensland Gallery Of Modern Art (GoMA) Surrealist Exhibition performance series with Gareth Skinner.
Christine developed a new work with Lisa O'Neill and Peter Nelson with visual artist Ahmarnya Price. The project is called RRAMP and the work in progress showing was part of World Theatre Festival 2011 Scratch Series, at the Brisbane Powerhouse. RRAMP – the Collector, the Archivist & the Electrocrat toured Australia in July/August/September in 2012.
Christine Johnston, Lisa O’Neill and Peter Nelson
The long time collaborators behind Fluff, Pianissimo and Decent Spinster are making a return, but this time assembled as a band.
Introducing RRAMP… A tall, lonesome lady-of-the-house lives with the collections and memories that she stores in jars in the rooms of her big house. She has procured two unsuspecting members to join her band. Featuring Christine Johnston as the Collector, Lisa O’Neill as the dancing Archivist, her much shorter personal assistant, and Peter Nelson as the Electrocrat.
Exquisitely animated by Ahmarnya Price, RRAMP is an electronica dance metal rock set reflecting on unexpected and compelling stories of archives, collections, pets, childhood imaginings and human frailty. Selections – collections – recollections… Sharp as ice and bittersweet.
“These artists talent for trail-blazing their way across the bone-littered landscape of performance art, hacking through mediocrity with their own particular brand of brilliance seems endless.” Carol Lloyd
“When they team up and begin a new work such as RRAMP – the community always knows there is something very special, quirky and honed coming… No one wanted the show to finish – it rolled with power from its outset – at times as sharp as ice – with riffingly macho guitar lines, stridently accentuated performance moves and acutely rendered ‘now, today’ look graphics…“
Dr. Keith Armstrong – Interdisciplinary Media Artist
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Rramp official facebook