COLLAGE & MIXED MEDIA ARTIST
Collage artist Janna Dorothy grew up in many places. Her parents hail from Mississippi and South Carolina, but moved so frequently that ‘home’ was always people more than place. Reorienting so often helped her see the world from an early age as a complex blend of cultures, histories and perspectives. Janna drew and kept sketchbooks from the age of 8, and perfected a photo-realist style at the Cleveland Institute of Art and at New Jersey City University.
In 2014 Janna started experimenting with collage. Collecting and cutting vintage ephemera to assemble new worlds quickly had her hooked. Seamlessness and creating life-like images remained, but mixing paint changed to matching colors and textures of printed images. The work became a perfect vehicle for exploring her obsession with environmentalism, the world of dreams, and Eastern Philosophies. Samkhya philosophy divides creation into prakriti (matter, impermanence) and purusha (pure consciousness, eternity). Buddhism offers a non-dualist view in which prakriti & purusha are never separate; one can’t exist without the other. Janna Dorothy expresses the beauty of this dichotomy by creating dreamscapes alive with spirit — prakriti embodied with purusa. Surreal landscapes populated by sacred geometric forms suggest a conscious environment, a world with a soul.
Perhaps there’s some connection between Western culture dismissing the dream world, seeing the real world as devoid of spirit, and the environmental crisis. After all, If the Earth has no soul we might as well continue killing it for profit. But if the world is embodied with spirit, and waking life is a dream, that means we can all become lucid. Janna Dorothy hopes her art can serve as a reminder of the power of dreaming and beauty in a world with a soul, and fuel the fires of environmental activism.