Name: Laurel Johannesson
Birthplace: The landlocked Canadian prairies.
Sources of inspiration:
I’m primarily inspired by cinema. Whether I’m working on a still or moving image, I’m thinking about the narrative. What has just happened? What will happen next? Also, the aesthetic and oddity of the “Day for Night” technique utilized in filmmaking has influenced how I construct an image. The commingling of daylight and moonlight has an uncanny effect, and the balance between what is real and what is constructed in a film is something I look at closely.
I’m also heavily influenced by philosophies of temporality and the contemporary interpretations of those philosophies. I’m inspired by the invisible world and inner landscapes…spaces where time is stretched to infinity, where delicate shifts of light can create an eternity, and where sound goes beyond hearing.
An upcoming project I’m working on is particularly guided by these ideas.
Sources of motivation:
I’m always curious to see what I can do next. What will the next part of the narrative be? Where can I take the work conceptually or technically? For me, the motivation must come from my own innate curiosity and desire to create. In my other role as a university professor, I try to instill this idea of curiosity in my undergraduate and graduate students. Often when researching the ideas that they are interested in, I discover some information or ideas that ultimately motivate me to move my own work in a new direction. This intellectual exchange is a constant source of both motivation and inspiration.
What makes you happy:
Being by, in, or on the Greek Sea.
Arriving in my favorite places: London, Athens, the island of Paros, Rome, Venice, Milan.
“Bluets” by Maggie Nelson
“Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino
“Einstein’s Dreams” by Alan Lightman
Almost anything by Gaston Bachelard, including:
“The Poetics of Space”
“Water and Dreams: An Essay on the Imagination of Matter”
“The Poetics of Reverie: Childhood, Language, and the Cosmos”
“Air and Dreams: An Essay on the Imagination of Movement”
I have Sofi Tukker on constant repeat at the moment. My ever evolving studio playlist contains an eclectic selection, including several unusual cover tunes that I’ve usually collected while travelling. Music can be such a potent reminder of places and moments.
Anything being served at a seaside taverna.
Always wear sunscreen, never over-pluck your eyebrows, drink lots of water, give your face an ice bath. Or, ideally, swim in some marvellously cold seawater.
Favorite ways to unwind:
Being in water is the perfect way to unwind and relax. When I don’t have a chance to go for a dip in the sea or a pool, then my next favourite way to unwind is a hot bubble bath. I can also get lost for hours browsing Greek real estate websites or watching films.
Favorite part of living in Calgary:
Calgary is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Siksika, the Piikuni, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Stoney Nakoda First Nations, including Chiniki, Bearpaw, and Wesley First Nations. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region Three.
Being in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the landscape is stunningly beautiful, and the mountains are nearby. It’s a privilege to be a visitor on this land and to be able to experience the sublime moment of standing at the edge of a mountain lake, with a monumental glacier looming just a short distance away. The clarity of the air at this high altitude combined with the impressive expanses often makes for some fascinating spatial distortions.
What gets you in a working flow:
I start looking through my photographic archive, sometimes searching for a specific location. Then I’m taken back to the place where I photographed the original images—images that I will ultimately deconstruct and reconstruct into real and imagined scenarios. It’s like a strange form of time travel, and suddenly I think that I can almost feel the negative ions from the sea, and then the process starts to flow, and the work begins.
What are you working on now:
A suite of NFTs, and an interactive moving image that will respond to the viewer’s presence.
Favorite motto / quote:
“Every something is an echo of nothing” ― John Cage
Laurel Johannesson work can be found at :
𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘒𝘪𝘴𝘴 𝘎𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘳𝘺 | 𝘊𝘢𝘭𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘺
𝘈𝘳𝘵𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘳𝘺 | 𝘡𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘩
𝘠𝘌𝘛 𝘈𝘳𝘵 𝘈𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 | 𝘔𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘯
Thank you PR for Artists