Pause is based on a concept developed by Katie Johnston and Natasha Johnston.

It originated from a research project undertaken by Katie who works as an Illustrator and Designer.

What was initially a hugely personal exploration of how to manage stress and anxiety, Pause has evolved into an initiative which aims to bring the techniques discovered to audiences outside of galleries and the creative industries.

Katie has worked as both an Illustrator and creative teacher and has exhibited work in galleries including The V&A, The Royal Academy and Somerset House.


The origins of the project...

‘My research takes a critical stance on the influx of mindfulness, meditation and Zen culture in the light of the digital age.

Pause started out as a collection of documents and curated experiences which unpick and evaluate the increasing importance of taking a minute. By exploring these moments in my own life and executing them for others, I’m working towards understanding how we can overcome the anxiety, loneliness and sadness associated with a sense of self doubt which is now synonymous with Western culture.

As part of the project I visited Japan, and went on to produce a series of ‘Pause Journals’ each outlining specific moments of pause in visual form. These were designed to assess the effectiveness on my productivity and anxiety levels. The diary like publications allowed me to look at things from an objective perspective and develop ways of working with my hands to understand issues.

After much research I began to design experiences based on my own image making techniques which provide a similar opportunity for others to reflect and evaluate emotional ideas from a creative perspective.’