Tricia Johnson and Jessica Desparois

Exhibition Dates
March 8 – 30, 2013

Opening Reception
Friday, March 8, 2012
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

About the Show
Jessica Desparois and Tricia Johnson have worked together in the Printmaking Studio in the Department of Visual Arts at Western University for the last 5 years. Jessica Desparois is the Department’s Printmaking Technician and Tricia Johnson is an Assistant Professor teaching Introduction to Print Media and Foundation Studio.

In their artwork, both artists have an affinity to working in Linocut, a print process where the artist carves and inks a piece of linoleum in order to create an image. Visually exploring the linocut process, both artists’ practices have resulted in distinct styles; Desparois’s prints use the graphic and expressive line quality of carving to activate her subject matter while Johnson uses an austere carved contour line. Yet both artists have gravitated towards personal imagery as the subject matter of their work.

Jessica Desparois

Aliens - Jessica Desparois
Desparois found herself collecting vintage ceramic objects that became the imagery for a series of prints; imagery that became signifiers of identity. What we decide to collect expresses who we are. Moving from bought objects found at thrift stores, Desparois started using her own possessions as the subject matter in her prints.

She rearranges and displays her objects in unconventional compositions, objects such as modernist furniture, suitcases, an antique radio, a cassette tape. She sees these prints as strange self-portraits that are funny and serious, light-hearted and meaningful simultaneously.

Tricia Johnson
Betsey's Room - Tricia Johnson, etching
Johnson has also used her own possessions as subject matter in her prints. Photographs of the interior of her home become the bases of etchings that pair each image with a found line of a poem: the verses allude to actions happening elsewhere, trying to fill in for any lost context in the image by imagining life mundanely continuing on. 

Her linocut prints construct imagined window displays combining Johnson’s own possessions with other consumer objects in highly aestheticized compositions. And yet again, the objects in Johnson’s life become subject matter in another series of etchings; quick, gesture drawing images that capture accidental arrangements of visually interesting things (and sometimes people).