Deborah Johnstone

I’m always watching for the fluid connection between the street, the soul, what is not seen by many, and what is heard by very few.

American theatre director, Anne Bogart writes:

“The South African writer Antjie Krog described meeting a nomadic desert poet in Senegal who described the role of poets in his culture. The job of the poet, he explained to her, is to remember where the water holes are. The survival of the whole group depends on a few water holes scattered around the desert.  When his people forget where the water is, the poet can lead them to it … What an apt metaphor for the role of the artist in any culture. The water is the history, the memory, the juice, and the elixir of shared experience.”[1]


ART serves as the catalyst that wrestles comprehension from the sociopolitical and cultural minefields of each era. Our collective histories become cultural artifacts – roadmaps – handed down from one generation to the next. Those who are compelled to create – writers, novelists, poets, artists, playwrights – do so via osmosis. They observe history as it wreaks havoc, strangles our perceptions, and lays waste to our best intentions. Yet, on rare occasions, we find solace, transformation, transcendence – and sometimes magic.


[1] Anne Bogart, And Then, You Act: Making Art in an Unpredictable World, (Routledge, New York May 4, 2007) 21.