Jaime Erin Johnson
doesn’t consider her photography “delicate”. In fact, her methods of procedures are quite aggressive. Analog photography, combined with using the labor intensive historic cyanotype process, and then tea staining. All printed on fragile Japanese Kitakata paper, giving each image an almost Mother earth, yet otherworldly quality. Her historical methods are not in sync with most in a digital age, but she does have company in the works of Chuck Close daguerreotypes or Joni Sternbach tin-types using seemingly archaic processes.
A Rural Avante-Garde
Jaime Erin Johnson grew up in Mississippi,…probably as deep south rural as one can get. Yet she chose a path that forgo her roots. Or does it? If so, I guess we could say the same for a Truman Capote or Harper Lee. In fact, her images are like great writing. A story to be absorbed carefully. While artistically employing an original vision in an original manner. She’s received her BFA from the University of Mississippi in Imaging Arts and her MFA in Photography from Louisiana Tech University.
She has managed to forge a truly original voice in a world of digital sameness. And all without the support system of a Starbucks hipster urban environment. Every ounce of her art truly came out of her own imagination.
Jaime Erin Johnson has been awarded an Honorable Mention for her experimental short, “Flutter” (below video) at the Oxford Film Festival. But she is not just a local celebrity of sorts. Accolades have been bestowed on her work and exhibits have been shown nationally in New York, New Orleans, the Center for Fine Art Photography and a plethora of art centric national magazines.
The Cyanotype Process and History
Her prints look and feel fragile. At the same time they combine a deathly humor and gothic sense of darkness and decay in a seemingly ‘Southern Belle’ fantasy. Using the cyanotype process, then additionally tea-staining, forces the viewer to see the imaging as a “translucent” window into an intimate reality we all experience from day to day. More form than detail.
While Jaime Erin Johnson now teaches as an Adjunct Instructor in Art at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. A collection of her work will be exhibited at the Mississippi Museum of Art from December 17, 2016 to March 11, 2017.
In conclusion,, viewing her works in person will put to rest the argument of “photography as art”. Lacking the ability to attend, the next best thing is visiting her website below. Find 4×5 Camera