The Resonance of Emptiness, 2013
Material: 10 ceramic bowls
Indira Freitas Johnson, born in 1943 in India and today living in Chicago USA, completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Mumbai, India and her Master of Fine Arts at the Arts Institute in Chicago and Folk Universitet in Sweden. As an artist, Johnson's identity has evolved as part sculptor, cultural worker, peace activist and educator.
Outside the temple gates, ten terracotta ceramic bowls glazed an intense blue on the inside reflect the sky yet are rooted to the earth. Arranged in a pattern of five rows, the two bowls at either end hold a collection of natural materials: stones, twigs, seeds and leaves from the neighboring area. Viewers are invited to reflect on the emptiness of the eight empty bowls and to reverse their status by taking some of the natural materials and arrange them in whatever way they please in the empty bowls.
Others will be invited to move the materials back to the end bowls. Emptiness, the interconnectedness of all things and audience participation are the three elements that are woven into this work. The ritual of filling and emptying will create a deeper understanding and dialogue between inner and outer, matter and spirit, empty and full and reinforce our deep connections to each other and the world around us.
For her, art and life are interwoven so that creating objects in the studio goes hand in hand with site-specific installation and interactive, community-engaged projects. Community art projects have dominated her practice for the last two decades. They are rooted in her passion to make art part of everyday life to cultivate peace as individual action and to involve local voices and communities in the art process.