Sarah Anne Johnson

Canadian, b. 1976

Marlin, from the series Tree Planting, 2003–2004

colour photograph on paper, A/P 2/2, from an edition of 10

24.7 x 49.4 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of the artist

2006-185.1 and 2


Photograph, Photography

Winnipeg artist Sarah Anne Johnson is known internationally for her photographic series on tree planting. Over the course of three summers, the artist planted trees in northern Manitoba. The photographs she took while working document her relationship with the natural environment, as well as with other tree planters. While capturing the backbreaking, repetitive aspects of hard labour, the photographs also reveal the intimate bonds Johnson formed with her workmates. This diptych, Marlin, pairs a laughing, somewhat shaggy-looking man surrounded by a gorgeous summer sky, with what appears to be invasive purple loosestrife lit by an early sunrise. The images emphasize the role human labour can play in countering ecological destruction.

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