Melt :: A collection of porcelain salt cellars
Glaciers and their icebergs are transformative; they take you to an unknown world in an unknown time. To hear them drip, shift, and crack is loud, startling, and real. I am sucked into the seemingly fairytale environment, where endless spans of blue ice seduce with their glistening surfaces and sapphire pools. To be there, on a glacier, among the icebergs, and to navigate the frozen braided rivers connecting them, is nothing less than surreal.
The landscape where I live in Alaska consistently intrigues me. It is a place where, perhaps more than anywhere, change is the only constant. My thoughts are consumed with both the social and political realities that jolt the romantic perception of what it is to live in such a dynamic place. There is a hard line between what is real and what is not. Reflecting this, my work blurs the line between contemporary art and craft to present the bitter contrast of seduction and reality. I choose material and process strategically and consider associations that can be made with both.
Clay is a medium that is quiet and unassuming, yet carries a meaningful presence throughout history. The process and nature of the material alone is seductive, dramatic and unique as it is so easily manipulated to then melt and become a brand new form.
This new body of work, Melt : a collection of salt cellars, is a culmination of ideas on material, geology, sociology, and politics. It represents on a small scale perhaps the biggest change we are all facing.
Amy Johnson, b. 1976, Charlotte, NC holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Colorado Boulder with concentrations in photography and ceramics. She spent a year in Missoula, Montana, and attended the University of Montana as a post baccalaureate. In 2007 Johnson received her M.F.A. from the University of Washington ceramics program.
She has been a resident artist at The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, MT, Centrum in Port Townsend, WA, The Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, Arteles Creative Center in Haukijarvi, Finland and is a current resident at The McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte, NC. She has received funding from Artist Trust in Seattle, WA, The Vermont Studio Center, The Alaska State Council for the Arts and in 2014 was a Rasmuson Foundation Fellowship recipient.
Johnson is a multi-disciplinary artist who combines contemporary art and craft to blur the line between what is real and what is not. She trusts her intuition and experimental tendencies to maintain an engaging and versatile art career. Her work reflects her life and what surrounds her: cultural expectations for women and her southern heritage, living in the north, landscape, isolation, transition and unfamiliarity.
Her most recent exhibition, TILT, was self-produced and ran summer solstice to winter solstice of 2016. This exhibition presented a collection of works created over the last five years of living and working in the north and included photography, film, video installation and watercolors.
Although many places feel like home, she currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska.