Assemblage art … it it collage? Is it sculpture? Is it a puzzle? For Kelly Johnston, it's all of that and so much more. She finds recognizable objects that she understands the intended purpose of and takes them completely out of context. She strips them from their original job and assigns new meaning to them. It's a journey of taking things from what we know to what we don't know and the fun of the viewer's brain trying to figure it all out, tot just to identify the pieces and parts (the old meaning), but to see what they become (the new meaning). This is no longer a ruler; it is an arm or a leg.
She has always been drawn to patterns, textures, and color. She loves the thrill of the hunt as she picks through junk drawers, garages, and sheds. Objects are chosen for their texture or shape, and she prefers to use things that are already broken. The discovery as she disassembles a piano to use parts in her art is a large part of the fun. She can spend hours hunting, breaking apar,t and cleaning before she even gets to the actual art. Like a sculptor chips away at a block of marble to reveal the art inside, she chips away to find her objects. Like a painter adds color to canvas, she cleans, colors, or sands her objects to shine them for the newly assigned purpose. By obscuring the original context of the parts and reassigning them in her pieces, Kelly creates a new story.
"I do like to create these special boxes of art. I like to fill them with some pieces of the past and juxtapose them with some strange industrial vibe. I like my pieces to show some wear, and to have some whimsy by using a splash of color. These boxes can have a story of their own, but I’d like to think that the person who takes them home can create their own story by looking at the objects inside!"
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