School of the Arts, English and Drama

School staff

Johanna Hӓllsten

Photo of  Johanna Hӓllsten
Johanna Hällsten is a Lecturer in Fine Art, contributing extensively to teaching on the BA(Hons) Fine Art course, MA Art & Public Sphere, MA Art & Design and the PhD programme. Johanna originally studied printmaking at Grafikskolan i Stockholm, Sweden before moving to the UK and completing a PhD at Staffordshire University in 2004, expanding the understanding of the uncanny experience in contemporary installation art. The PhD was part practice, part philosophy, and her practice continues to traverse these fields.
Johanna’s current practice/research is situated within, and tests, the boundaries between environmental aesthetics, soundscape studies, music and philosophies concerning translation, space, duration and movement. She is interested in the perpetual cycle of translation between words and speech, speech and the visual, visual and auditory, auditory and words and so on: where interpretation systems are being unraveled and reassembled again. It is interdisciplinary in nature and she often works collaboratively.


SAB 114 Siting Fine Art Practice  

SAP013 Research, Practice and Proposal (MA Art & Public Sphere)

Johanna’s recent practice has focused on relationships between sound, movement, composition and place/space. The voice has taken a primary role in these new works; where performativity and the translation of existing compositions/systems alter the sonic landscape. Together with this investigations into how movement and sound create space(s), and how these spaces in turn create social encounters within the human and animal world, have been a main focus for some time, and continue to stimulate intersections between architecture, rural and urban environments and location-responsive works. 

Recent projects include:

“Calls from Blethenal Green” St John’s on Bethnal Green, London (2013), “Everyday Material” Binaural/Nodar, Portugal (2012), “A Regency Utopia” Royal Pavilion, Brighton (2011), “It’s About Time” organized by HATCH as part of Sideshow, Nottingham Castle + Embrace Arts (2010), ANTI festival, Kuopio, Finland (2010), EV+A, Limerick, Ireland (2010), “Trying to cope with things that aren’t human (Part One)” San Francisco, Stoke-on-Trent and London (2009), amongst others. 

Publications include:

“Sonic movements: in-between the floorboards” in Korkea Taivas edited by Y. Sepänmaa, Finland (2012); “Considering our sonic environment: via the concept of Ma and duration” in The Front Edge of Environmental Aesthetics (vol 2), China, (2012); “Public Gardens and the State of Site-specific Contemporary Art” & “Wuhan Gardens and City: a practical exploration of ‘site’ and ‘engagement’” in The Front Edge of Environmental Aesthetics China (2010), “Sounds Like It: a cross-cultural conversation” in in.Paradoxa – international feminist art journal (2007), “Movement and Participation: Journeys within everyday environments” in Contemporary Aesthetics (2005).
Johanna's current PhD supervisions include:
Heather Connelly: Speaking through the voice of another, co-supervisd with Dr. Jane Tormey
Ben Fitton: Vis-à-Vis the Relations of Production: the Idea of Site Specific Art, co-supervised with Dr. Gillian Whiteley
Rebecca Birch: I speak because I can: on making meaning within a continually accumulating geology of conversations
Myfanwyn Ryan: Live Art in a Technological World: The Intervention of the (Digital) Device Within Performance
Conohar Scott: Towards an environmentally concerned landscape photography practice, co-supervised with Dr. Jane Tormey
Johanna's ccompleted PhD supervisions include:
Dr. Veronica West: What Children Make of Things & What Artists Make of Them[externally supervised (Staffordshire University), 2013].
Dr. Fabia Lin: Doubling the Duality: a Theoretical and Practical Investigation into Materiality and the Embodiment of Meaning in the Integration of Live Action and Animation [2013]
Dr. Robert Ward: The Hunting of the Duckrabbit: In Pursuit of a Aesthetics of Knowledge [2011]