Profile of Diane Johnson
Proprietor of Mother Earth Prints
Diane Johnson is a fine Ecological Artist whose roots are firmly planted in the soil of Kent.
My work is the landscape; it is about the passage of time, history, decay, regeneration and evolution. It is organic, rural and industrial.
Inspiration for my prints began with the cave art at Lascaux and Altamira. The fascination was not the images, but the colour that had survived for many thousands of years. This began my quest to learn more about how colour was made and used, before it was manufactured. My research took me through time and history, from the Caveman (earth’s) through the Egyptians (flower dyes) and onto the Greeks, (chemistry).
My colours are home produced and are from flowers, which I process to extract their colour, then dry to a powder, hoping to capture some of Nature’s beauty. I use chalk, charcoal, ground brick and earth, from locally and Worldwide, to instil a sense of belonging and place. My most precious being a small amount of earth from the Big Dig in Canterbury dating from the Saxon layer and below. I also make Verdigris on copper pipes. The flower colours are unique; many factors can make the hue change. Some colours react to the elements (sunlight, darkness, and water), as if continuing their botanical life, my prints are not finished, they are still maturing.
A major factor in my work, is an ecological / environmental awareness. I am committed to using non-toxic print making techniques. My plates are either cardboard or metal from skips. I make paper from “junk mail”, my frames are reclaimed timbers and the glass is old windows, in the hope of conserving a little of what we have for future generations.
Diane spends every spare moment boiling, drying, crushing and is never far from her studio. Her work has made her very aware of our environment and she is committed to producing prints that are ecologically friendly. She is a tireless artist always striving towards the next piece, spending hour after hour finding ways to develop what she has learnt. There is no rest in her relentless quest to produce something she is satisfied with, and as she is unsure what that is, she will continue in her evolution like mankind itself.
I like to make prints that have the same history, by that I mean common elements.
If we use the big dig prints as an example. They were made from a bit of card that I found by the fence at the site, then items that I sieved from the earth were glued to the card and finally they were printed with the earth from the site.
Many of the prints start off with the same plate but no two are the identical. Although the prints are created from the earth something happens that is to me (and others who view them) quite remarkable. Some look as if they show views of space (the universe). It is almost that because they have been created with the organic matter that gives us our planet and that they are showing how our origin began..
Diane's prints and paintings are for sale