Image of Matthew Johnson

Matthew Johnson

Liverpool School of Art and Design

Faculty of Arts Professional and Social Studies

Matt Johnson is an image maker, researcher and senior lecturer working in the Graphic Design and Illustration department at LJMU. Matt’s interests include hybrid images, multiple regimes of signification, affect and textuality in art and design and in the dynamic interface between disciplinary boundaries.

Primarily working from within what became known as Visual Cultures, Matt has cultivated a critical interest in the further development of this field beyond any narrow curatorial approach. Matt’s theoretical and practical work pivots around the idea that the everyday provides the material for multiple subjectivities, made manifest through the performative subversion of popular culture.

Teaching at LJMU includes the leadership of the second year BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Illustration, dissertation supervision with third year students on both the Graphic Design and Illustration pathways, pathway leader of Graphic Design and Illustration Foundation, and PhD supervision in collaboration with Transart in New York. Matt has taught at a number of UK and European Universities and schools of art, including Bournemouth, LCC and St. Martin’s in London, Manchester School of Art, Hertfordshire, at UCCA in Kent and in Lahti in Finland. Matt has given talks and papers at Universities in Amsterdam, Dublin, Lodz, Berlin and Valencia.

Keen to emphasise the developmental and reflective capacity for practice led learning within a pedagogic context, in a way that challenges habit and orthodoxy within a dynamic social environment, this year Matt has been working on the interrelationship between text and image, the determinism and properties of materials and media in relation to art and design practice, adaptation as a simultaneously liberating and constraining creative process, and the opportunities and limitations of precarious working and the professional life of a designer and/ or illustrator in a post-Covid, post-Brexit UK. Matt has a history of freelance workers professional practice and legal rights advocacy through the Association of Illustrators (AOI) and the Creators’ Rights Alliance (CRA).

Currently on indefinite hiatus from a practice based PhD in the department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College in London under the supervision of Dr. Derval Tubridy and Dr. Simon O'Sullivan, Matt has continued to develop interests in research and practice alongside the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari and marginal literature, cinema and animation and sequential art. Recently Matt has begun collaborating with author and philosopher Andrew Culp at Cal Arts MA Aesthetics and Politics to produce graphic arts works as a companion piece to his forthcoming book A Guerilla Guide to Refusal.

Instagram for work in progress and other bits and pieces, web for more finished projects;


2001, Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, England, MA
1994, Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, BA (Hons)
Goldsmiths University of London, United Kingdom, MPhil / PhD (currently on hiatus)


2017, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, Emergency First Aid
2013, Goldsmiths University of London, United Kingdom, ReSkin

Academic appointments

External Examiner and EE mentor, School of Art and Design, University of Derby, 2016 - 2021
Senior Lecturer, Graphic Design, Liverpool John Moores University, 2013 - present
Senior Lecturer, Arts University Bournemouth, 2007 - 2012

Postgraduate training

PGCE, United Kingdom, Institute of Education, 2004 - 2005


Johnson M. 2022. Left Cultures Author Url Publisher Url

Conference publication

Johnson MR. 2016. Eco – aesthetic affect - the everyday life of the photographic image Deleuze and Art: Multiplicities / thresholds / potentialities


Johnson MR, Tucker D. Curatorial practice - ‘Seeing Beckett’ Kingsway Contemporary Art Space in Chester alongside the international ‘Beckett in the Regions’ conference held in September 11th – 12th 2014. Author Url

Johnson MR. ‘Seeing Beckett’ Liverpool School of Art Atrium Gallery as part of the international Liverpool Irish Festival between 23rd October and the 3rd November 2014. Publisher Url

Johnson M, Hyatt J. interruptions #5 Author Url Publisher Url

Johnson M, Johnson M. interruptions #1 - 4


Johnson M, Hughes B. Underlining Austerity Author Url Publisher Url

Johnson M. Drawing Sound City Author Url Publisher Url


Hughes B, Johnson M. Autographic Zine Workshop - Antiuniversity Now Festival Author Url

Journal article

Johnson M. Left Cultures Grapus article Left Cultures, 1 Author Url Publisher Url

Conference presentation:

Affective framing of everyday visual culture, Resonances of the work of Judith Butler, Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Humanities CLUE+ at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Oral presentation. 2017

A cosmic wirtschaft - Urban Aesthetic regimes and the imaginary, Libidinal Circuits: Scenes of Innovation III, Liverpool University, Paper. 2015

(Interrupting) the signifying regime of the photographic image, 21st Century photography: Art, philosophy, technique, Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London, Oral presentation. 2015

‘Apophenia – The still Image and the Desire to ‘Read’, ‘On the Image’ conference, Freie Universität in Berlin, Round table discussion. 2014

Teaching qualification:

Post Graduate Certificate in Education, Institute of Education, University ofLondon. 2005

Media Coverage:

Radio interview Monday 27th October 2014. Radio City, Liverpool. Media review and promotion of Liverpool Irish Festival and 'Seeing Beckett'.

Other Professional Activity:

Programme External Examiner and Moderator for the BA (Hons) Illustration programme at the University of Derby.