Sunday, 17 August 2014

Ann Johnston' Exhibition

I was really struck by Ann Johnston's quilts. I have travelled in the Sierra Nevada on several occasions and found myself transported back there. Huge in scale and graphic in quality these quilts speak of the wide open spaces, the rocks and their hold on you when you are among them. It's a part of the world I enjoy visiting, and Ann's art gives me the same feelings.

"After the Ice"
The sense of scale and the grand swathe of the landscape are there and man's insignificance.

"Eureka Chimney"
Craggy and raw, the fabrics and stitching convert the rugged nature of this area.

"Nevadan Orogeny"
This whole cloth piece showcases the folded, stretched rock formations of the Sierra Nevada so well I almost felt I could touch the rough, hard surface.

I am not usually drawn to the representational or pictorial in quilts but was persuaded by this exhibition that, in the right hands, it works. I am now even more keen to revisit the western USA again and add in areas I have still to see for the first time. I know I won't make work in this genre but have so enjoyed seeing these pieces.

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