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Artsy Exclusive Viewing Room

We are delighted to present for the first time Laurel Johannesson's series WAKE. Stunning photographs of Johannesson's solitary venture on investigating her ancestral roots, by immersing herself into the rough and unpredictable waters in Iceland. 
Water is a sacred symbol in most cultures, often referring to rebirth, transformation, cleansing, transition and metamorphosis. Water possesses healing powers. Water flows, regardless of any obstacles. 


wake | wāk |  

* a watch or vigil, sometimes accompanied by ritual observances.
* a trail of disturbed water or air left by the passage of a ship or aircraft.
* used to refer to the aftermath or consequences of something.

* emerge or cause to emerge from a state of sleep; stop

I found my ancestral roots and perhaps most importantly, my primordial connection to water.
My transformative summer in 2006 in Iceland was a metaphysical and often psychological experience that has shaped and influenced my work ever since.
That year, I was still very involved with the imagery that I was making underwater. However I was starting to notice that I was becoming more and more interested in what was happening on the shoreline, the liminal space of the beach and the solitude and vastness of the spaces. The light in Iceland added another aspect to those thoughts. Iceland plays with your concept of time... nighttime that appears to be daytime, daytime that masquerades as night. Time in Iceland is a strange thing, and I can see now that my experiences there have coloured the way think about temporality and the way I construct an image today.

Or perhaps it was there in my DNA all along.
     ​— Laurel Johannesson  

"Johannesson’s research followed a vision whereby she utilized the waterous environs as a means to camouflage the figurative self; a way of actually hiding herself in a skin that mimics the surrounding moss, sand, rock, reflections, or refracted depths. On one level, of course, she is looking to be swallowed up by these two places; her past lives in the present tense. Her personal isolation in the project, let her wander almost as invisibly as her alter-ego depicted in the images. Always photographing from a fixed point on land; the artist was able to place herself into the modesty of enclosed spaces of tidal pools or inlets. Each shot was carefully considered and planned out as to time of day, weather conditions, and accessibility or distraction by others. This created an opportunity to disguise both the form and the space to a degree, into her own personal ritual of bathing, and all that is associated with that solitary act."
— Derek Michael Besant

PODCAST: Listen to the artist talk in conjunction with Laurel Johannesson's Online Exclusive Show WAKE. Hosted by American-Austrian art historian, writer, and curator Alexandra Steinacker-Clark, All About Art is a podcast that is all about the arts and cultural sector:









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