Artist Statement Submitted 2020C E Johnson attempts to channel — space, light, abstraction, spirit, sound, matter, self, God, geometry, presence — into images and objects of art. They are intended to point beyond themselves towards the unseen and are meant to be healing objects, like sacred totems.
The aim of the work is to imagine a spiritual aesthetic or a history of sacred images, objects, sounds, and places through the lens of Johnson's own Southern heritage where these kinds of ideas and objects are pointedly and historically absent. Using materials from the local landscape is important in Johnson’s work. Clay, earth, and stone are primal materials that have a visceral tactility and immediate connection to the place. Transcending the materials they are made from, the works are transmutations intended to be used for healing a land with a troubled history. They are also to be used in the ritual of survival of the current age.