“Mantra Amplifier/Deep Listening Device. The feeling of humming at the heart. This is a story of the song the bee sings to the morning glory and the humming inside the bee-eater” (2022), 150 x 100 centimeters. All images Tanya P. Johnson, shared with permission
Conveying the “texture of a threshold,” the mixed-media drawings that comprise Tanya P. Johnson’s ongoing Wisdom Engines series invoke passing between wakefulness and sleep or life and death. Mirrored renderings entwine gears, levers, pulleys, and audio equipment with flowers and geometric motifs in elongated columns, referencing the shape of the human spine. The bisected works reflect both a connection between entities and finding balance through somatic experiences and symmetries.
Drawn on vintage ledger paper, the pieces are “tools for consciousness hacking,” Johnson says, instruments for confronting the systems we’re accustomed to. Each work “generates subtle awareness, cultivates wisdom, and wicks fear. They symbolize the ways movement and breath can be used to interrupt patterns, to strengthen electromagnetism, and to stabilize energy.”
Living between British Columbia and her native Cape Town, Johnson works across media, and you can find more of her projects on her site and Instagram.
“Boundlessness/The Four Immeasurables. Technology of (a) mantra, a vector” (2020), 100 x 72 centimeters
“Wisdom Engine. Leveraging gravity to create awareness of awareness. A page from the guidebook” (2021), 150 x 100 centimeters
“Whale prana and the Flaming World Tree. A visual pulse of wicking fear from the planet. A story that includes the twin Seed Keeper girls, Whale as Time Keeper and the bendy nature of time. It is simultaneously an architectural-cartography of Maha Bandha” (2022), 150 x 100 centimeters
“Folding Time. Art in the time of Corona. A consciousness map of eternal now” (2020), 100 x 72 centimeters
“Morning Call. Technology of (a) mantra, a vector” (2020),100 x 72 centimeters
“Texture of threshold. The awareness in my mouth of electromagnetic transformation” (2021), 150 x 100 centimeters
“Making Radiance/Evolute1, a screenshot. Mechanics of aligning and organizing life force in the vessel” (2021),100 x 72 centimeters