Wk 3 – Artist Conversation

Artist: Juliet Johnson
Exhibition: i thought i saw a windmill
Media: photography, sculpture, mixed media, installation
Gallery: Gatov Gallery East
Website: n/a

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ABOUT THE ARTIST

Juliet Johnson is an undergraduate art student who began her college career as a painter, but found herself a more natural spot in the sculpture department. Upon completion of her bachelors degree, she hopes to continue her education as a graduate student.

FORMAL ANALYSIS

The first thing you see when you walk into the gallery is a photo of a young man who appears to be sitting criss-cross in front of some foliage, but when you get a closer look, he’s actually floating, leaning back with an elated expression. A piece of the portrait was abruptly cut out of the bottom right, and the frame was incomplete. On the wall to the right of the portrait was a moving picture of a green landscape. The leaves were dancing, and in one spot, it seemed to be pulsating. The background noise was a dancing nature tone. It was the perfect audio representation of the dancing foliage.

CONTENT ANALYSIS

In i thought i saw a windmill there was an overall theme of unfinished business and things that made no logical sense, such as the partial frame and the floating man. I stood for several minutes staring at the moving picture of the green landscape, waiting for whatever was pushing its way out of the ground to come out. It never did. I read and reread the text. I couldn’t make logical sense of it. The room was full of questions, and the gallery provided no answers, but it was okay. After experiencing the piece, I felt pure bliss. I asked Juliet what kind of emotion she was going for, and she described it as “the feeling.” Even “bliss” didn’t cover it completely.

SYNTHESIS / MY EXPERIENCE

i thought i saw a windmill is more than just something to look at; it’s a feeling that you can’t exactly pinpoint, but it’s overwhelming in the most comforting way possible. The gallery is full of unfinished business, which should be upsetting, but Juliet placed things together in such a way that the missing or illogical pieces are more comforting than they would be if they were finished and made logical sense. In our every day life, we piece things together and try to make things work, logically. When things don’t make sense or work the way we want them to, chaos takes over our bodies. In Juliet’s gallery, though, chaos doesn’t exist. I felt completely satisfied and content in the presence of the unanswered questions.

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