Domestica: new mosaic series

Johannah completed two mosaic series over the summer, one about domestic objects and one about the natural world around us. Next month you can find them at Gallery Flux in Ashland, VA for their 6th Annual Miniature Show, opening November 30.

Read the story behind Domestica below, and stay tuned for the second series, Nature Therapy.


It all started with a teapot.

Teapot PH2016.jpg

Looking back over some older work, I came across the teapot and thought, "Hmmm. That was fun. Where could this go?" (The most satisfying series are always unplanned journeys.) Remembering a photography project I did a few years ago, I thought a return to the topic of mundane domestic objects might be interesting.

At the time of the earlier project, I was forced by the circumstances of being the primary care-giving parent to two very young children to mostly shoot items around the house. But as the project went on, I found it piqued my feminist interest in domestic objects. Many of these items are kitchenware, associated with the traditional work of women. True, they are mundane, everyday objects. But might it be their very everyday-ness that gives them their power? We need these items, we keep them close to us because of their necessity or utility in our lives. Many of them we come to love, because they were passed down from a great grandmother or because they bake the perfect batch of ginger snap cookies.

Domestica mosaic series PH2017.jpg

So I devoted this series to portraits of individual pieces of kitchenware. Set alone in silhouette, we can admire the shape of the objects, consider their use, appreciate their utility in our lives and yes, even their beauty.

And while I worked, I thought further of other domestic items or happenings we might take for granted. Eventually I couldn't help but associate "taking for granted" and "domestic" with the idea of domestic abuse. I suppose it doesn't hurt that with the political temperature of the nation this year, I'm more aware than ever of the changes I want to see, and striving always to do more toward that end. The result in this case is that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the pieces in this series will go to a group like the Virginia Anti-Violence Project for survivors of domestic abuse, especially those in the LGTBQ+ community