Locust Projects presents Remnants, a new site-specific project by Miami-based multidisciplinary artist Loni Johnson. The exhibition opens to the public with a reception on Thursday, September 9 from 6-8pm, and is on view through November 6, 2021 Wednesdays-Saturdays from 11am-5pm. Admission is free.
"This installation is based on creating a safe space for Black women. To serve as a platform for Black women to be seen and to reflect on who we are. How we navigate through the world and beyond. This installation will propose and engage in thoughts of how ancestral and historical memory informs our existence in a society that continuously tries to silence and erase us." – Loni Johnson
During her residency at Locust Projects, Johnson will transform the Mobile Studio into a physical space to inform, heal, and offer counter-narratives that commemorate Black women and girls and celebrates their role in the community; a place where they can feel seen, apart from the world that continues to silence them and deem them invisible. In the words of poet Nayyirah Waheed, “All the women in me are tired”. An offering to Black women, Remnants responds to this collective experience by providing a place for all of these women in us to rest, normalize vulnerability, and dismantle the myth of the Black Superwoman while also reconnecting with and honoring our mothers, our mothers’ mothers and their mamas too.
The installation pays its respects to Black women through altars that include photos from the artist’s matriarchy alongside traditional elements from the West African Yoruba cosmology that can be found and gathered in neighborhood botanicas and Dollar Stores. Everyday objects and decorations such as sequin, lace, and cowrie shells are offered as tributes together with hair beads, gold bamboo earrings, and mirrors – objects found in local beauty supply stores and used in women’s’ daily life to adorn and enshrine.
Remnants invites visitors to pause, breathe, and reflect within the space, offering welcoming, comfortable, and cozy seating and cushions. Painted the very same pink color Johnson lovingly remembers from her maternal grandmother’s home, the space fosters a feeling of nostalgia and belonging. Johnson encourages visitors to engage with the work, presenting offerings within the space from which viewers can collect a piece of the installation to bring home with them, such as cowrie shells, hair beads, and candies, leading guests to ponder the question of what remains of them within the spaces they exit from.
The project will be accompanied by a series of public activations intended to engage and provide access to contemporary visual and performance art throughout Miami’s varied communities. These programs within the public sphere will provoke intimate, inclusive dialogue between Miami’s BIPOC communities, artists, and creatives of all ages, encouraging an exploration of creative expression and self-discovery.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Loni Johnson is a multi-disciplinary visual artist born and raised in Miami, FL. As an artist, educator, mother and activist, Ms. Johnson understands that as artists, there is a cyclical obligation to give back and nurture our communities with her creative gift and it must be utilized to better our world. Through movement and ritual, the artist creates healing spaces for Black women and explores how ancestral and historical memory informs how, when and where we enter and claim spaces. Ms. Johnson graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from SUNY at Purchase College School of Art and Design.
Selected exhibitions and performances include: Making Visible: The Studio Archives of Chire Regans and Loni Johnson, WAAM at Dimensions Variable, Miami (2020); Say Their Names, Chire Regans/Vanta Black Memorial Mural Project Unveiling, Bakehouse Art Complex, Miami (2020); Performans Fanm/Global Borderless Caribbean XII: Focus Miami, Little Haiti Cultural Arts Center, Miami (2020); Homegoing, NADA Art Fair, Miami (2017); Offerings III, Bas Fisher Invitational and O’Miami, Miami (2017); Offerings II, Common Field Convening, Miami (2016).
Ms. Johnson is a Teaching Artist at Perez Art Museum Miami, Co-Director of Visual Arts for National YoungArts Foundation’s Miami Regional Program, and Chairperson for the National Visual Arts Selection Panel for National YoungArts Foundation. She received a Knight Champion Award in 2019 and is a frequent guest speaker, lecturer, facilitator, and performer.
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