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About the Series

The Contemplatives is a series of work by Artist, Johanna Goodman, begun in 2017 that explores the body as sculptural object.  These forms, that reference such ubiquitous cultural icons as totems, talisman, idols and statuary, take personages from the past and the present and condense their spirit into three dimensional pieces; they are created at an intimate scale, utilizing  processes traditionally associated with “women’s work”. These handmade objects - recombinations of fabrics from different sources - are crafted within a tradition of quilting, sewing, and other textile work.  It is this highly personal technique which imbues them with their individuality.

These figures become embodiments of people and cultures both past and present, they are fetish objects intended to eminate spirit of power, boldness, courage, peace, the attributes that all of us seek to find within ourselves.

Within this larger endeavor is a unique collection of figures devoted to the luminaries of the Women’s movement, tributes to women who are themselves personifications of bravery boldness, and courage.  They are small monuments to women making a monumental difference at a pivotal moment in our country’s history.

This series builds on a larger project, an ongoing series of collages entitled The Catalogue of Imaginary Beings, which has been exploring similar territory since 2015. 

The Catalogue of Imaginary Beings store