A selection of my 'keeping time' baskets are currently on show in the exhibition Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture…then and now at browngrotta arts, Wilton, Connecticut, USA. I was delighted to be invited last November to create new work for this special survey exhibition placing fibre works by leading practitioners from the 1960s pivotal to the evolution of the contemporary basketmaking and fibre art movement alongside the generation born in the 60s, including myself, that have been influenced by these makers. On browngrotta arts' arttextstyle blog my early discovery of Ed Rossbach's work is quoted:
“I am more than happy to admit the influence of makers such as Ed Rossbach, whose book, The New Basketry, I bought for the mighty sum of £1.50 when I was still a schoolboy in the 80s,” Johnson says. “While for many years the influence did not emerge in my work and I did not understand how to work with basketry techniques and materials, when I eventually started making baskets it was like coming home to the work I had always wanted to make.”
As I have just returned from a six week research and teaching trip to Australia (blog posts about the trip here soon) unfortunately I'm unable to visit the exhibition, it would certainly be a treat to see my baskets alongside works by such luminaries as Ed Rossbach, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Sheila Hicks, Masakazu Kobayashi, Lenore Tawney and Luba Krejci among many others.
My 'keeping time' baskets were first exhibited in the 2007 exhibition 'East Weaves West', curated by Mary Butcher, that brought together the work of makers from the United Kingdom and Japan. I have since exhibited different baskets of the series in a variety of venues in the UK and Europe including the piece 'Spiky Vessel' that won first prize in the contemporary category of the V International Contest of Plant Fibres at Museu de la Pauma in Mas de Barberans in Cataluña, Spain.
My 'keeping time' baskets are an evolving series, in these works I am interested in the play between vessel and surface, the particular qualities of different plant materials and the contrast of outside volume and contained space. Working on each of these baskets over several days, the careful manipulation of material - be it different kinds of rushes, grasses or flowering plants, creates different possibilities to articulate the transition from outside to inside. The contrasting textures of the apparently chaotic exterior and the carefuly woven interior creates a dialogue that excites me and pushes me forward in its exploration.
If you are interested in purchasing one of these baskets please contact browngrotta arts through my artist page here: Tim Johnson @ browngrotta arts