Meet our artist Johanna
Johanna works in many mediums including bronze, ceramics and glass. She specialises in representing the human form in a way that generates an emotive response from the viewer, something you can see reflected in our statue.
Johanna was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1994 and studied art as a way of coping with her illness. She has a strong connection to our charity having partially lost her vision as a result of her MS and met many of the veterans we support.
Our bronze statue was inspired by a photograph she saw of First World War veterans blinded in combat and leading one another away from the Front. She initially produced the sculpture that this statue is based on to mark our centenary in 2015. This sculpture is a much loved fixture at at our Llandudno rehabilitation and training centre. This bronze statue will stand proudly outside Manchester Piccadilly station as a permanent memorial to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
"I started the original sculpture this bronze is based on in 2011. It was like art therapy for me and, due to relapses, took years in the end."Johanna
Johanna, who has both a BA and a Masters in Fine Art, has developed special techniques as an artist. Due to her MS, her fingers have little feeling in them and her vision is still partially blurred. Because of her own disability, Johanna feels very strongly about the need to make artworks, such as Victory Over Blindness, accessible to the public.
"It’s rare to see disabled people depicted in artworks, let alone in permanent public artworks such as this one. The statue won’t be on a plinth but at ground level. That was very important to me because it means that a disabled or blind person can access it. I want people to touch it; I want it to be a people’s artwork."Johanna