Joanna Cohn

1973 · United Kingdom

Artist biography

Joanna’s work explores the power and potential of chronicling surface through the gestures of printmaking, drawing and painting.

She combines the traditional printing techniques of etching and takuhon with digital printing techniques and photography, focusing on the ever-changing surface of the earth through traditionally unchronicled surfaces such as concrete floors, paving stones, roads, peeling paint or tree bark.

In these visually ambiguous images she confronts the complex relationship between human activity and the natural world. An area of floor surface, recorded with layer upon layer of diverse materials, becomes a map or landscape in an imaginary world. She imposes borders, deciding what is sea or land, what is lit or remains in shadow, whether an island remains on the surface or is submerged.

The surface reveals what lies beneath, seas are no longer the traditional map maker’s light blue, but run livid and chaotic as colour is layered on colour to suggest the teeming life beneath. By using materials that can be applied, removed and blended, Joanna mimics the formation of surface through biological and chemical erosion. In this way, surface, representation and meaning are eroded to give way to pure sensation.

Joanna recently exhibited her prints at The Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, and at Grange Park. She was a finalist in the Glyndebourne Touring Art Competition, and had work exhibited at Glyndebourne’s 94 gallery. She participated in the Tate Exchange in 2019 and in 2020, and has exhibited in various venues over the last two years. Her animated monoprint was screened at The Lux Gallery, and at the Open Mouth Film Festival in 2019. She is studying for an MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins.

Joanna Cohn

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