Hand-drawn maps, diagrammatic structures, scientific imagery, embroidered samplers, handiwork and love tokens, I respond to in constructing my compositions, both formally and narratively. These maps, objects and structures are personal geographies and refer to the body both imaginatively and physically. In them, tiny patterns shift and animals and flowers move within a larger cosmic form. Some works have strange boats that mirror one another, and moor in opposite quadrants; there are hands that search the surface of a globe, and I consider my role as a woman, mother, daughter, educator and artist. The density of stitches creates a flesh-like quality on the surface, with the cloth often left with punctures, pulled and cut threads from the underside and pigment that has bled from the thread. These geographies attempt to order my imagination, anxieties and fears, and chart the trodden areas of love, beauty, desire and death.
© copyright Jan Johnson, 2015