April 18, 2020 Slideshows » Arts + Scene

Janessa Johnsrude's Sheltering in Places 

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OF 7
Photo by Janessa Johnsrude
"I know Veena as her teacher and I actually interviewed her after this photo on the phone. She is from Sri Lanka where her family lives. We are both very far apart from our families right now and I found her insight incredibly inspiring — she is a Buddhist and her belief and spirit are a guiding light. This image moves me because I see both gentle calmness and fear in her. She is forced into waiting."
Photo by Janessa Johnsrude
"I saw this house from across the street where I was taking another portrait and asked about it. They said it was a rental and people had just moved in. The house intrigued me — it has character. Ezekiel and his mother, J, came onto their porch to read a book and I met them from far back on the street. I can't imagine just moving into a new place and then having to stay in. There is so much unknown surrounding the unknown in that."
Photo by Janessa Johnsrude
"Ann emailed me and said she was a teacher so we arranged her photo at the school where she goes every day to prepare lunches so young people who need it in our community have something to eat. Ann is obviously very cool. When I got to the school parking lot, I was taken by the students' artwork in windows — a haunting reminder of everything in suspension. I took the picture from outside Ann's classroom and to me, it's like she is frozen in there, in a relic of the rest of the school year with a ripple that continues beyond and beyond."
Photo by Janessa Johnsrude
LinZi, Bender, Laurel. "There was a real sweetness in this exchange between mother and daughter — a specialness to the time. I wonder about all the family dynamics, good and bad, happening as we shelter and the stories everyone will come out with. It made me miss my mom and, in the same turn, horrified/amused to imagine what it would have been like to shelter with her as a teenager, and beyond grateful that isn't happening."
Photo by Janessa Johnsrude
Marguerite. "The emotion in this image is palpable to me: strength, vulnerability and aloneness. We are in a very uncertain place right now. Something about the balance between the sunny day outside and the dark inside the house speaks to the push and pull of what is happening. Some of us can be very grateful for having shelter, a place to live and comfort during all of this, and some people are having their worlds ripped apart."
Photo by Janessa Johnsrude
Steve, Esme and Alyssa. "There is always a kind of an aloneness together, and a togetherness in being alone."
Photo by Janessa Johnsrude
"Gina is a friend and an incredible artist whose perspective I find continually take refuge in and inspiration from. She actually came up with the name 'Sheltering in Places.' This is a picture of her outside of her studio. Many artists crave isolation to create but now we are isolating in the face of a pandemic — how is this going to change the landscape for artists? The arts are now facing unprecedented impact."
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Photo by Janessa Johnsrude
Steve, Esme and Alyssa. "There is always a kind of an aloneness together, and a togetherness in being alone."


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