Women behind the Lens

"I've been following Johnna Arnold's rich explorations of color for some time, and she just gets better and better. She's represented by several cliche verre prints, a variation of the photogram process in which she places objects into the enlarger head instead of directly onto the photographic paper. Acting as a self-described "slightly mad scientist" examining magnified everyday objects under an ersatz microscope, she uncovers the unexpected mystery and the magical beauty of utilitarian things. "Artichoke Seed," for example, gleams like an antique gold, enchanted egg pulsing in the bottomless velvet black one might encounter in a Velazquez or Dutch Masters painting; "Rainbow Chard with Mealybugs" features a couple of larger-than-life-size leaves, veins and all, in unlikely shades of ice-blue and purple; and in "Onion Rings from Sparky's Burgers," which at first glance looks like an earth-orbiting satellite, she has done wonders with saturated fat."

- Sura Wood, The Bay Area Reporter

Household Specimen #1: Artichoke Seed 

Household Specimen #1: Artichoke Seed 

Femme Papel review on Lens Scratch

FEMME PAPEL AT RAYKO PHOTO CENTER

"Johnna Arnold’s new images from her series, Abundance incorporate the color darkroom and the cliché verre process. Arnold shines light through lost and forgotten objects using a photographic enlarger to create large printed negatives of the world around her." -Aline Smithson

Household Specimen #7: Rainbow Chard with Mealybugs 

Household Specimen #7: Rainbow Chard with Mealybugs 

Putting the wrong things into the enlarger head

For my residency at RayKo I have been happily experimenting. This has resulted in my putting things - icky things, incorrect things, things that are so commonplace as to be almost invisible - into the enlarger head. Each object surprises me for its detail and wonder. The final prints are beautiful, but the things I print from, not so much so. 

 

A piece of chicken skin on the ground glass about to be printed 

A piece of chicken skin on the ground glass about to be printed 

The resulting print from the above chicken skin above 

The resulting print from the above chicken skin above 

Inherent Nature at Traywick Contemporary

"Johnna Arnold debuts images from a new series of photo-based works meticulously created in the isolation of the darkroom. Her work confronts our consumer-based society by transforming everyday, insignificant objects (cigarette filters, food waste) into mesmerizing, abstracted pictures that are at once beautiful and inscrutable." 

Inherent Nature
June 7 - August 15, 2015
895 Colusa Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94707

Household Specimen #4: Every Petal from One Camilla Flower

Household Specimen #4: Every Petal from One Camilla Flower

Review in the SF Chronicle

Chronicle article of show at Dzine

“The show grew from Johnna’s work,” Dym says. “There’s a kind of push-back in her images. There’s sharp observation, but also a darkness about current times, without being heavy or even ugly.”

The show at Dzine looks great - there is a beautiful catalog and many great photos in the impressively large gallery. Thanks to the kind and impactful Ms. Dym for including my work.

Residency at RayKo Photo

Super excited to be a Artist-in-Residence at RayKo Photo Center. I've fallen in love with this beast of an enlarger and it's partner in crime: the only communally accessible chromogenic processor west of the Mississippi. Excited to dig into this new project and these impressive new facilities. 

Johnna Arnold at RayKo

Dzine Gallery ...And Everywhere InBetween

Dzine Gallery Show

Delighted to be a part of this group show at a fancy furniture showroom in San Francisco. A fun opening full of silver trays with goat cheese and impressive furniture to try. Curated by the wonderful and illustrious Miriam Dym, the show looks great, came with a nice catalog, and will be up for a generous six months. 

Dzine Gallery:

“... And Everything in Between.”

Through Aug. 28. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

128 Utah St., S.F. (415) 674-9430.

Headlands Show: Dreams and Reality

The In/Finite Hut and two In/Finite Potential photos are up as a part of a great show:  Reconnaissance at the Headlands Center for the Arts. The Hut is delighted to have now been presented on all three continents of the inner Bay Area - and very much likes being near the water. This show is full of solid, imaginative work worth the drive to go and see.  Up until March 9th. With the Headlands being one of the most beautiful places on earth; I recommend a visit.

In/Finite Hut goes to SF Camerawork

I am taking the hut over the new bridge today. the show will open to the public on September 11th and (better yet) there will be an opening on Friday, September 13th. Auspicious indeed.

I have altered the video for this new installation - a new planet, this one encircled by Interstate 580. For more information: SF Camerawork

In/Finite Hut at Traywick Contemporary

Dreaming up this felted hut and video installation was the easy part - it took a lot more work and determination than I had anticipated to bring it to life. An official thanks to Mr. Sean Olson, who was essential to both the design and assembly - and who shot this awesome video -  a time lapse of the piece being installed.

The hut will soon be on the move - heading to the Art Mrkt Art Fair May 16-19 at Fort Mason.

Reviews

Refinery, I-80, Hercules, CA 2013  

Two new reviews of my show up at Traywick Contemporary

In the first, via the East Bay Express, my photographs have been deemed "Risky & Rebellious"

"An up-close view of the photographs yields another curiosity: horizontal streaks of pink or red light — the trails of speeding cars, captured by long camera exposures. Further illuminating the transitional quality of these images, these streaks also call attention to the fact that not just the built environment but Arnold, too, must have kept perfectly still for the duration of the shots. Thus, she places her human subject in a relationship of curious equivalence with the structures that dwarf her."  - East Bay Express, April 24, 2013

And in the second, in the East Bay Monthly,

"Arnold's deliberate, stable compositions are the result of her careful consideration of these sites, along with the demands of her tripod-mounted 4-by-5 inch camera, and long exposure times (as phantom vehicles and streaked tailights attest); her methods and images hark back to photography's first century. Arnold breaks from the classical tradition, however, by inserting herself, in various guises, into the landscapes. The pleasure of recognizing Arnold's sites is doubled by the anticipation of spotting Arnold reacting to the location." - East Bay Monthly, May, 2013

Press


Excited to see some press for the show -  both on 7x7 and California Home Design:
"Massive desolate urban landscapes, sometimes dotted with one lone figure make Johnna Arnold’s large-scale photographs both eerie and captivating.  The Traywick Contemporary gallery in Berkeley is hosting an exhibition of her recent work titled In/Finite Potential. Arnold’s images play with light and time as long exposures show freeways in motion and lightened up nights. Along with the photographs, Traywick Contemporary is also showing a video and sound installation created by Arnold. Runs from March 17 to May 18, Traywick Contemporary, 895 Colusa Avenue."            -Dana Kerr






Catalog Online!



In conjunction with my new show at Traywick Contemporary, we have printed a catalog of images - twenty in all. It's a culmination of over two years of shooting, and comes with a fantastic essay by my friend and esteemed photographer Rebecca Horne. There are a limited amount of printed catalog's available, which you can buy through Traywick Contemporary. I've also uploaded the book online, just click here to browse.

SF Chronicle


Excited to have my work included in yesterday's review of three San Francisco photography shows - in a pretty big way. It was a big surprise to see my photo reproduced so big in the paper - and a bit of a surprise to read the criticism in such a public format - but I'm excited to have the visibility and the conversation out there.
Arnold's "Fake Rock, I-80, Rodeo, CA" (2011) presents a highway retaining wall molded, cut and colored to look like a natural outcropping.
This piece of public works fakery enshrines the assumption that none of us will look at our surroundings more carefully than a speeding driver can. The camera's steady gaze cannot make the fake any more real, but it might unmake the thought behind it.
(The fake rock climber on the fake rock wall, it is me.)
To read the full article online, Click here:
http://www.sfgate.com/art/article/Wide-variety-of-photography-exhibitions-4132126.php#photo-3910743