Hillary Johnson

Chicago, Illinois, US

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The Veil is Thin (When We Look and When We Don’t)

Slow motion video excerpt from longer ongoing investigations with sound gathered from the location.
Gold sparkle tulle intervention in the landscape between the shack and the Wisconsin River at the @aldoleopoldfoundation in Baraboo, WI.

The land where I made this intervention and photo is part of ecosystem resilience work being done at the foundation. They strive to balance a respect for history with deep listening to the ecological needs of the land now and in the future.

The foundation fosters climate and eco-education in community with programs and practices in resilience. This intervention and video was inspired by the intersection of the foundation's landscape choices and deep commitment to education for future generations.

A delusion or confusion that seems to prevail is a notion of separation from everything that is not ‘us’, by which I mean all of nature, all of the universe, all of “the great absorbing stream of the world,” as poet Mark Doty puts it.

Do we live with a veil over in front of our eyes? A veil which until we recognize it, prevents us from seeing clearly.

Might a veiled view lead us to act in ways that are harmful to ourselves, to the planet, to all those with whom we share this time and place? Are our thoughts, words and actions creating repeating patterns or cycles of suffering?

This work explores, through the sensuous pleasures of seeing, veiling and unveiling, texture, moving and weaving through space, ways of experiencing oneself in relationship to ourselves and all that appear to be distinct or separate from us. This work offers viewers a chance to experience presence as a way of recognizing and intentionally being in connection with ourselves and all around us. When we can experience true presence, clarity and alignment arises and our inclinations shift.
2022
  • Hillary Johnson

Thought Form: The Divine Revealed in its Own Time

Inkjet print
10" x 10" overall
Limited Edition of 5, 2AP

Much in the same way that “sustainability is not a steady state, because nothing in nature persists unchanged. A sustainable society must be able to adapt to new conditions—and that means resilience.” This piece looks at how all our states change continually. We may feel fragmented one moment and see more clearly our interdependence and connection in the next. The work of cultivating that awareness is ongoing. The more we practice, the easier it is to do.
  • Hillary Johnson

The Veil We See Through Makes Things Unclear

Photograph of fabric intervention in an urban landscape
Inkjet print
13” x 19”Limited Edition of 5, 2 AP

This work offers viewers a chance to experience presence as a way of recognizing and intentionally being in connection with ourselves and all around us. When we can experience true presence, clarity and alignment arise and our inclinations shift.
2022
  • Hillary Johnson

The Veil We See Through Makes Things Unclear II

Fractured Panorama Photograph made by moving the camera to mimic the movements of climate change data with fabric intervention in an urban landscape
Inkjet print
50” x 11”

This piece explores a confusion that seems to prevail, a notion of separation from everything that is not ‘us.” The glitches which occur in the making of the image, moving through the veil are a way of representing the feeling of the disturbances we experience from consumption, consumerism, and competitive modes of living.

When we begin to develop greater clarity we can see that “Not only is there no conflict between sustainability and resilience, there is mutual support between the two. A major factor in building resilience in human systems is making them less likely to produce future disturbances—in other words, making them more sustainable.”
2022
  • Hillary Johnson

The Golden Thread in Question

Fractured Panorama Photograph
Inkjet print
9" x 15"

With this work, I am thinking about the golden thread of awareness, of the witnessing consciousness which runs through all things, of the tentative threads of compassion, of awareness of our shared existence and fate, which when we acknowledge it, can urge us to be kinder and more resilient.
2022
  • Hillary Johnson

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