As a white African raised in pre-revolution South Africa, a segregated and violent society, Johnson sought out the traditional sacred ceremonies of the indigenous peoples, participating in, witnessing and being initiated into the spiritual practices. The work of Lines in Blood and Milk integrates facets of the artist’s spiritual exploration through intention, dream, ceremony and paint, presented in forty-nine oil, acrylic and mixed-media paintings arranged in an installation-like environment. Employing a personal symbolic language, the artist claims the process of creation is as much a part of the journey as the spiritual experiences. Aware of issues of cultural appropriation, the artist presents the work not as a didactic portrayal of traditional ceremonies, but a truthful exploration of ceremonial ways, creation, and the means for its continuation, through a personal experience and expressed in the form of paint and image.
The paintings in this body of work are a tracing of bloodlines, a personal unravelling of ancestry and “raison d’etre”. They are a deep exploration of experiences, visions and teachings received while participating in traditional and medicine ceremonies of certain indigenous people of the Americas and South Africa. The work brings together years of searching. From a look to Eastern ways, a yoga practice, a rich dreamtime, study of the mystics to an immersion in ceremonial practices held by entheogenic practitioners.
Tanya Pixie Johnson
Tanya Pixie Johnson was born in Nairobi, Kenya during a political riot. She grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, her childhood being a curious dialogue between apartheid horrors, art and dance classes and happy family moments. She received her honours degree in fine art from the University of Cape Town. After traveling the world, being an activist punk and roving artist in whatever medium was at hand, she made family and is based in the Slocan Valley and part time in Cape Town.