In search of the frightening and beautiful: interventions in the landscape

By Adolfo Caballero

Yam Gallery will be exhibiting the recent work of the artist Heather L. Johnson, who grew up moving from place to place, with dramatic cultural transitions defining each move. This process, along with an entrenched fondness for motorcycles and long road trips, has inspired her ongoing investigation of rootlessness, of moving through space without connecting to it. Her work examines spaces from the perspective of an outsider looking in, positioning the viewer to gaze intimately at things that are temporary, generally ignored, or distorted by memory.

In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful: Interventions in the Landscapes
Fri, Jul 4, 7:30pm-10pm
Yam Gallery, at Instituto Allende
Ancha de San Antonio 20, int 1

Johnson’s work reenacts the act of searching, of hunting for clues from the past to build new connections to the present. Drawing on source material such as maps, engineering schematics, official documents, newspaper articles, internet ephemera, and the personal stories of friends and strangers, she embroiders by hand richly layered images of things often forgotten or taken for granted. She looks for relationships between different types of experiences, searching for evidence in the landscape of patterns and cycles that reveal our own fragile natures, as humans, in relation to it. It is her hope that the work inspires questions about where we are, physically and psychologically, in relation to what surrounds us.

Johnson has shown her work in galleries, museums and in the public realm throughout the US, Europe and Japan. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, and has completed artist residencies at BoxoHOUSE in Joshua Tree, CA; McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC; and Winthrop University in South Carolina. She has curated several exhibitions and collaborative projects, including “Cracks in the Pavement: Gifts in the Urban Landscape,” involving artists from around the world, “Love Letter,” a collection of collaborative site-specific works presented in New York and Paris and, most recently, “In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful,” a project-in-progress of landscape interventions around the US, Mexico and Central America. The work that will be showing, starting July 4, is from her last adventure project done via her Triumph Tiger 800, from New York down the continent to San Miguel de Allende.

These embroidery pieces will tell the tale of the wondrous, sometimes frightening but nevertheless beautiful projects she lives out.

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