Based in Skaneateles, NY, David Edward Johnson creates mixed media assemblages that address belief systems, the birth and death of the American Dream, and the effects of loss at a personal level. No Roses in December features a series of works in which Johnson explores his father’s diagnosis of and descent into dementia. Johnson pairs his own photographs of bleak West Texas vistas and abandoned adobe dwellings with abstract mixed media painting, vintage papers, found objects, and other ephemera as a way to evoke fragmented shards of memory that mimic his father’s state of mind. The series title references a poem by Geoffrey Anketell Studdert-Kennedy that was popularized in a speech about courage by Peter Pan author JM Barrie: “God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” Without memories, we have no blooms in the chill of the December of life.
David Edward Johnson: No Roses in December is part of the Everson CNY Artist Initiative, an exhibition program that celebrates the multi-faceted talents of regional artists. The CNY Artist Initiative is made possible with support from Terry and Bill Delavan.
David Edward Johnson
Custom photography, found objects, acrylic, graphite, spray paint, crayon, paper, cardboard, and household on panel, 30 x 30 inches
Courtesy of the artist