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GLYNEISHA JOHNSON | ARTIST STATEMENT

Through the language of collage, I recreate domestic Black southern spaces I call and have called home in order to convey a nostalgia for a past that never existed. I use collage as a metaphor to describe the dislocated nature of Black history due to colonialism. In the same way that Black history is lost, found, and pieced back together with new elements from new generations; my work take on the same notion. Using inanimate objects, frottage methods on decorative artifacts that are synonymous with black culture, and prints of my afro, I recreate spaces like my grandmother’s kitchen and my mother’s den through colorful acrylic collage paper and methods of mark making in graphite. I also include decorative objects, such as African vases and religious artifacts to represent my family’s heritage and the role of incarceration, poverty, violence, and systematic oppression on black culture.

My work reflects the relationship between family and home, along with the desolate truths and overt absences that reside there, revealing the history of public and private space occupied by black people through what poet Elizabeth Alexander coins the “black interior.” A safe, creative, and healing space for black people beyond “the public face of stereotype and limited imagination.” A space that allows us to remember our history and “helps us envision what we are not meant to envision: complex black selves, real and enactable black power, rampant and unfetishized black beauty.”

BIO

Glyneisha Johnson is a multimedia artist, currently living and working in Kansas City, MO. Johnson completed her Bachelors of Fine Art in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2017. Johnson is a current artist in residence at the Drug Store Studios and a 2018 recipient of the Drug Store Studios Artist of Faith Reward. She is also a past Charlotte St Foundation 2017-2018 Studio resident. Johnson has exhibited in various solo and group exhibitions in and around Kansas City, including La Esquina, SPIVA Center For the Arts, Leedy-Voulkos, and The Writer’s Place. Johnson’s work has been added to the collection of The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art at Johnson Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. Through collage, painting, and drawing, Glyneisha Johnson’s work echoes nodes of black culture and her experience of being raised in Dallas, TX. Her work acknowledges the importance of Black domestic interior spaces while using collage as a metaphor to describe an imaginative vision of black life.