Sortilege | Melissa Johns Art

Sortilege

Graphite powder and charcoal on stonehenge, 2015

Sortilege is an exploration into the mythologies of my mixed heritage, drawing inspiration from both Iroquois and european folklore. A surprising number of parallels are evident between the two, likely stemming from the impact of cultural intermingling on oral tradition.

Sortilege is a set of fourteen small-scale drawings, with an aesthetic that references old photographs and storybook illustrations. These drawings combine mystical objects from the stories of both sides of my background, altered to suit my own sensibilities and imply their involvement in a larger narrative. Seen at a glance, it becomes difficult to distinguish which objects belong to the stories of a either cultural background, as well as those which I have included from my own imagination. Distinct as individuals but thematically linked, the components of Sortilege reconcile cultural differences to directly explore the root of mythos: fear, curiosity, and the allure of the unknown.