Sarah Anne Johnson
Canadian, b. 1976
Marlin, from the series Tree Planting, 2003–2004
colour photograph on paper, A/P 2/2, from an edition of 10
24.7 x 49.4 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of the artist
2006-185.1 and 2
Winnipeg artist Sarah Anne Johnson is known internationally for her photographic series on tree planting. Over the course of three summers, the artist planted trees in northern Manitoba. The photographs she took while working document her relationship with the natural environment, as well as with other tree planters. While capturing the backbreaking, repetitive aspects of hard labour, the photographs also reveal the intimate bonds Johnson formed with her workmates. This diptych, Marlin, pairs a laughing, somewhat shaggy-looking man surrounded by a gorgeous summer sky, with what appears to be invasive purple loosestrife lit by an early sunrise. The images emphasize the role human labour can play in countering ecological destruction.