Artist Lorna Turner is not afraid of technology and of using it to capture moments before the world was saturated in email and computers. Ironically Lorna is, by day, a graphic designer whose clients include Virgin Entertainment and Design Within Reach. So it is interesting to see how her prints capture her creativity and technical proficiently in their creation of a world that seemed to have existed in the late 1950’s. In a beautifully composed suite of prints, Lorna presents two main characters, an older man and woman. Parents, grandparents perhaps, this couple is often accompanied by a young girl on their journey. Maps, text, and personal notes combine as do Lorna’s design and color choices to suggest the time and place of each stop of their cross-country trip. As a viewer I am left wanting to know more and am curious who these individuals are and why they are traveling, but more importantly I have the since of a lost moment in time knowing that neither these people or these places exist in the same manner if at all today.
Artist Dennis Johnson, also like Turner a graphic designer by day, also deals with the nostalgia in his prints. Largely working with etching, Johnson creates beautifully rendered images of architecture and signage. Controlled and formally arranged so that each building or sign seems isolated, Johnson’s prints seem both sad and longing. All are void of any human presence which makes these buildings and their wonderful neon signs appear even more lonely and even more dream-like, a mirage of another time and perhaps place, if not physically certainly mentally.
Judy Chan plays with the sense of memory in a very different way exploiting mystery and suggestion to give the viewer a sense of the past and place they may not want to remember. Judy is a native Los Angelian whose has a long and extensive career as an artist and educator. Her work combines actual physical elements as well as printed items and textures to create a dark dream. A soldier’s belt combined with the image of such a belt, an actual broken clock and images of a pile of disarrayed clothes hangers, suggest displacement, fear, and upheaval. The memories that Chan give us in her prints are bittersweet, if not painful and contrast the longing and nostalgia of Turner and Johnson.