Sarah Anne Johnson (b. Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1976)
The gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Sarah Anne Johnson entitled "The Galapagos Project". As with her previous series, "Tree Planting," Johnson explores the landscape between our utopian ideals vs. the reality of human existence.
Johnson's photographs were taken over two separate trips, while living and working with other volunteers in an agricultural rehabilitation mission on the Galapagos Islands. As did the early Darwinian scholars, Johnson uses a variety of media to best illustrate her observations of this alleged paradise. Her installation technique mixes colour and black & white documentary-style photographs which avoid the exoticism of a National Geographic feature and concentrate on the reality of the struggle and poverty of the region. The familiar ideals of Paradise are presented through Johnson's imagination as she crafts figures out of Sculpey that animate elaborate tableaux. Presenting them as a salon-style installation, the fragmented narrative enables the viewer to reflect on their own tangible evidence of the chasm that exists between aspiration and result.
An exhibition of this work in progress was shown in the summer of 2006 at PLUG IN ICA, Winnipeg, under the title Either Side of Eden, with an accompanying essay by Steven Matijico.
Sarah Anne Johnson was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1974. In 1997, she received her Associates Degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York, NY. In 2002, she received her B.F.A. from the University of Manitoba and in 2004 her M.F.A. from the Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT. Her work has been collected by the Guggenheim Museum, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Spencer Museum of Art and Yale University.