c e johnson
is an artist working and living in Alabama.
I’m interested in phenomenology—to sense something that is not present, or at least that which seems undefinable — a space out of reach, beyond our perception.
I attempt 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.
My imagery and ideas result from an exploration of theories by modern physics about the nature of reality and my own study of ancient mystical religious traditions. For me, making work is a tangible way of exploring the idea of the universe as a field of consciousness and of experiencing the interconnectedness of all things.
The aim of my work is to imagine an alternate history of sacred images, objects, sounds, places and practices through the lens of my own cultural background where these kinds of ideas and objects are pointedly and historically absent.
Clay, earth, and stone are primal materials that have a visceral tactility and immediate connection to place and reflect deep geological time. I collect rocks and minerals from the local landscape and grind them into pigments to use in paints and ceramic glazes for pottery and sculpture. My artistic practice is a contemplative spiritual practice. I make in order to understand. It is also a search to reconcile myself to my background and to my home, a land with a complex and fateful history.
The Coleman Center for the Arts, "sacred matter(s)" a solo exhibition of recent works by c e johnson, York, Alabama. May 13th, - May 20th, 2022.
Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans, "Make America what America Must Become" an Exhibition of Gulf South Artists, New Orleans, Louisiana. Sept. 18th, 2020 - Jan, 24th, 2021.
The Huntsville Museum of Art, "The Red Clay Survey: 2020 Exhibition of Contemporary Southern Art," Huntsville, Alabama, August 9 - October 4, 2020.
Atlantic Gallery, 2020 Juried Exhibition "Seeing the Unseeable," Chelsea, New York, January 7-25, 2020.