Indira Freitas Johnson

Satyagraha III (2017)
ceramic, oxides, tree root
20 x 18 x 10 in.
(Gandhi called his concept of nonviolent action Satyagraha, a Sanskrit word, which roughly translated, means holding firmly to truth.)

For over a decade, Indira Freitas Johnson has been using objects discarded by society in combination with her sculptural work to create new objects that explore the constant process of transformation and change in the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Her fascination for these abandoned objects has grown over the years leading her to question the issues of permanence and decay, strength and vulnerability.

Hands and feet, symbols that appear in practically every culture since the dawn of civilization, are of special significance to Johnson and thus continue to dominate her work. Hands are the principal way that work is accomplished and signify the action of karma. Feet ground us to the earth and guide us towards spiritual growth and identity. Throughout her work, Johnson has tried to evolve a vocabulary of signs to express the human relationship to the universe.

Born in Mumbai, India, Johnson received her undergraduate degree from the University of Bombay and the Sir JJ Institute of Art and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in numerous private and public collections including the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, RI, City of Evanston, Chicago Transit Authority, and the Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards and most recently was named the 2013 Chicagoan of the Year.

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© Indira Freitas Johnson