Please join us at Kiosk Gallery on 3rd Friday in November as we present Disquiet, a solo exhibition of drawings by Melanie Johnson. These large scale figurative drawings combine real and unreal elements in the creation of subtly evocative and strangely emotive scenes.
“Lu cuntu nun metti tempu” is a Sicilian literary phrase that translates to “time takes no time in a story.” It allows for temporal incongruities to exist in close proximity on the page, collapsing and expanding time and memory at will while condensing the intensity of an event’s impact or making salient those rhymed moments in time.
This concept figures strongly in my approach to narrative structure in my drawings. Long-term patterns are examined with remove and are re-contextualized to transform the familiar into a more elemental or resonant presentation of the ordinary. My life-long history living with animals – specifically, the sensory and emotional connections inherent in those bonds, and the ways in which animals link us to memory, place and routine – has caused me to return to many of the same physical and psychological landscapes experienced in the cycle of the life of an animal, making me increasingly aware of existential parallels and patterns in my own behavior.
Mining these landscapes gives form to a dissonant accrual of lived experience, family histories, personal iconography, loss and sense of place. The imagery is specific, but is often also disjointed and incongruous. Surface palimpsest and indexical mark are active metaphors in my work. I want the drawings to serve as narrative vehicles as well as exist as physical objects that reference the history of their own manifestation. The work should conjure a habitat that has one foot in the palpable present and the other in a state that evokes the slipperiness of memory, longing or disquieting familiarity.
Melanie Johnson received an MFA in Painting from Indiana University. She is Associate Professor of Art & Design at the University of Central Missouri. She lives in Kansas City.
Opening Reception: Friday, November 16th, 6-9 pm
Show runs through: January 10th
Open hours: 12-6 pm Fridays, 12-4 pm Saturdays, and by appointment.
Holiday closures: Friday, Nov. 23rd & Saturday, Nov. 24th for Thanksgiving.
Friday, Dec. 21st & Saturday, Dec. 22nd for Christmas.
Friday, Dec. 28th & Saturday, Dec. 29th for New Year’s weekend.