Coil affiliate Ian Johnstone died at his home in Spain on 30 June.
Artist, beekeeper and Coil affiliate Ian Johnstone died at his home in Spain on 30 June. He was 47 years old. His death was caused by a recurring bronchial infection that had previously seen him hospitalised. Johnstone was the former partner of the late John Balance and regularly collaborated with Coil, having made numerous costumes for the group as well as the artwork for Coil albums including Black Antlers and the Racing Green box edition of The Ape Of Naples.
Born in Cumbria, UK, on 2 September 1967, Johnstone studied fine art at Middlesex University where he developed his Mr Todd alias – a performance character that would appear throughout his career. Johnstone also collaborated with Dan O’Sullivan, participating in his Mothlite and Ulver projects. In the latterJohnstone performed Mr Todd’s levitation piece and The Leg Cutter at the Norwegian National Opera house. Talking of Johnstone, O’Sullivan says:
“He was a master craftsman, discerning to the finest detail, humble and kind, self-critical and irreverent, in love with nature, at war with the capitalist patriarchy. A good animal, true to his animal instincts.”
In the last few years Johnstone spent his time in the Asturian mountains working on Cantu Fermusu, an agroforestry, farming and gardening project with Mikel Quirós.