Friday, April 15, 2011

memory and cloth.

Artist Eric Johanni was in the exhibit I curated last summer titled from the tongue..., however both of his works for that exhibit were works on paper so I had assumed his work practice was more in that direction.
But as I recently visited his website I realized his work was quite connected to the act of sewing and the memory of cloth and is incredibly conceptual in nature. I was excited to discover him more deeply as an artist.

I love his button projects. He describes it here:

The idea was simple: remove buttons from my own clothing, build sewing kits with the buttons, mail buttons to friends and family with instructions. The instructions were simple: remove a perfectly good button from an item of clothing, replace it with my button (using the red thread), and mail me back your button. From this simple task, I’ve branched into two different directions. In both, the button that was returned represents the person that sent it to me.

He began to work with how fabric has memory in a project of pillows that were inspired from the illness and resulting death of his mother.

I find his work beautiful in it simplicity and very interesting in how he melds the techniques of and organization innate to a print maker to talk about fabric and its roles in our lives.

and he has the best artist statement ever here is a peek:

Eric age 5 + Legos + Building = Creativity...
Eric age 35 + Parts + Process = Creativity = Art Work = Good!

See more here.


Paula Stebbins Becker said...

Eric's work of his mother touches me. I lost my mom last year from Alzheimer's and through my own work I am able to slowly accept & work through the loss of such a loving, dear person.

I also love Eric's button project! The idea of taking a button, a strand of thread and sharing it with others is a tangible, visual metaphor for the connection of people.


Joetta M. said...

i am so glad i could bring your attention to it. his work is quite wonderful indeed.

i too loved the button project the sentiment is so powerful in this culture where our loved ones are spread so far across the world.