Johnny Morant is a visual artist exploring the complicated relationship between us and our surroundings. At a time when addressing the deteriorating state of our planet is imperative, Johnny’s work explores this strained connection. He creates work that encourages contemplation and awareness of these social and ecological issues.
By embracing a modern day heroic icon; the astronaut, his work considers theories such as the “Overview effect, the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space. From up there, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this “pale blue dot” becomes both obvious and imperative.”wiki
Back on Earth we were allowed a tiny glimpse into this cognitive shift when the iconic photograph ‘Earthrise’ was published, showing the Earth as seen from lunar orbit by astronaut William Anders over fifty years ago. Many accept this marked the beginning of our environmental awareness.
His painting ‘The bigger picture’ (160x160cm) demonstrates a whimsical application of the overview phenomenon in combination with our perceived concept of historical significance. In this appropriation of Jacques-Louis David’s famous painting, Napoleon’s noble steed Marengo carries a triumphant Buzz Aldrin, exposing the absurdity of warring nations when observed from an enlightened cognitive state.
Some paintings place these lunar explorers is lush earth-like utopias that act to highlight how disconnected we have become from the biosphere that is vital to our existence. These paintings will form part of his solo exhibition GROUNDED, 2-6 December at the Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, London.
Johnny Morant studied at the Arts University Bournemouth and Bristol UWE. He has work in collections including Smith & Williamson, Standard Chartered Bank, Prudential plc, Old Mutual plc and P&O Cruises. After ten years and four solo shows with a central London gallery he is now seeking representation further afield.
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