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In The Open | Laura Donkers & Jan Johnson

Laura Donkers is an artist based on the Isle of North Uist. She is a PhD candidate at Duncan of Jordanstone at the University of Dundee, where she also received her MFA in Art, Society and Publics. Her research is entitled ‘Considering local experiential knowledge through ‘slow residency’ artistic actions, aiming at ecological change’. She graduated from Moray College UHI with a BA (Hons) in Art in 2011. She is the director of Earth | Environmental Art Hebrides. Most recently she was Artist-in-Residence at DRAWinternational in Caylus, Mid-Pyrennes Regions, France. Over the past year, her practice has been in New Zealand. She is a member of PLaCE International (UK).

Jan Johnson holds an MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design. In 2010, she was awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in Drawing. She was a Fulbright Scholar at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design at University of Dundee in 2015-16, with her project, “On Stitching in Scotland: Stories, Schemes and Contingencies of a Gendered Material Practice.” Johnson is the coordinator of the International Summer Experience at DJCAD, and a Part-time Professor of Practice at Clark University in Worcester, MA. Her work has been shown throughout the US, and internationally in Greece and the UK. She is a member of PLaCE International (UK).

Using tissue, thin skins of paper and clear film, the surface of the pages inside Entangle Edge and Surface are inscribed with marks made through performative intra-actions. Although made half a world away, Laura Donkers and Jan Johnson worked collaboratively on documenting time and revealing a surface of a subject that is somewhat intangible and often elusive. To read this book is to examine light and matter on, through and under various surfaces of the page where edges interweave. Hands and fingers guided the writing of this book and it is through this sensitivity that an understanding of scale gets lost. Laura Donkers employs frottage as a kind of mirroring of the hand and the object, in which there is a separation and revealing of subject and object over time. Similarly, Jan Johnson’s sewing on film images the hand and mind, subject and object as an entanglement always already becoming.