PAIN CANOPY YEAST STEAK, Jess Johnson, Auckland

Alwaysy (detail) 2020, unique digital print on cotton with pieced fabric border, assorted textiles, thread, 1450 x 1400mm. Image: Jane Groufsky

On the Saturday before the latest Level 3 Covid announcement, Jess Johnson and Cynthia Johnson were able to celebrate the opening of Jess’ latest exhibition PAIN CANOPY YEAST STEAK at the newly relocated Ivan Anthony gallery in Grey Lynn. Among framed pen, acrylic and goache works by Jess are four new quilts created in collaboration with her mother, artist and veteran quiltmaker Cynthia.

Previous quilts that have come out of this partnership were first shown at Auckland Art Fair in 2018. These initial works were formed from a large panel of Jess’ art, digitally printed on cotton and finished into a quilt with a pieced border by Cynthia. In the latest works shown at Ivan Anthony, Cynthia has more freely incorporated Jess’ printed fabric into her contemporary patchwork designs which combine geometric repetition with occasional sinuous applique. Patchwork quilts are a fitting medium for echoing the rhythmic style of Jess’ painting and drawing, and give a tactile element with their added depth and softness.

Ditto Blank and Spice Agony at Ivan Anthony Gallery Image: Jane Groufsky

Fortunately Aucklanders are now back at Level 2 and can once again see the show, on at Ivan Anthony at 564 Great North Road until 9 March , or see the works online:

Text and images Jane Groufsky

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