“The purpose of these works is to invite the viewer to connect with the Earth and our environment, to take a moment to consider our place and relationship to the Earth at this moment in time.”Joanna Cohn
Joanna’s Lockdown Story
‘During lockdown I wanted to continue making work, even though I no longer had access to a print or painting studio. I started working in the streets locally, combining some print and painting techniques to record the textured surfaces of York stones.
I found some extraordinary stones with surface patterns implying vast seascapes and landscapes. The stones seemed to hold their long history of becoming in these surfaces. Formed million years ago, we are walking on forests turned into stone over millions of years.
These works are produced simulating the natural processes of corrosion, sedimentation and evaporation as layers of materials are added and removed and allowed to dry at various speeds. I record through tone and movement the quivering dappled sunlight prints its own design onto the pavement’s surface.
The purpose of these works is to invite the viewer to connect with the Earth and our environment, to take a moment to consider our place and relationship to the Earth at this moment in time.
By focusing in on making work I have found this time productive. I was ill with Covid- 19, and the exhaustion and my inability to do anything for several weeks meant I was all the more determined and grateful as my health was restored. I have found it wonderful meeting local people and neighbours on the streets (at a distance!), as they come to see what I am making. I had one little girl join in (2 meters away) with her own paper and crayons and have had suggestions for titles for some of the works.
I was very much focused on making large scale paintings and making hybrid etchings and giclee prints all of which I needed to do in the studio, so lockdown forced me to be a bit more inventive- using the streets and the heath as my studio. It has brought me closer to the natural world, which was already the focus of my work, and given me time to reflect on our human relationship with the Earth.’
Text and images © Joanna Cohn