Mallary Johnson



My drawing aesthetic is based on highly detailed renderings of natural elements with particular attention to the textural and linear qualities that can be drawn from a specific object or scene. For example, when observing a pattern of light traveling across the surface of water, instead of depicting it literally, I look for what constitutes the pattern-its qualities of light, line and shape and how they are organized. I then translate this pattern or organizational system into the rhetoric of drawing, enabling it to take on a new life. During this process, I am able to employ these systems creatively and freely, bringing my own associations to them through a particular color scheme, linear language, texture or formal arrangement. In many respects, my working process parallels that of the use of the Mandala in certain traditions, where persistent, intensive focus leads to continuous growth and understanding through artistic practice.



Studies in Time Series 1


Studies in Time Series 2


This recent photographic body of work explores various (often paradoxical) notions of time. By using long exposures, along with actual camera movement during each shot or study, I am able to use photography in a physical and tangible way to examine the metaphysical properties of time as well as its relation to subjective corporeal experience. Movement, pace, and the experience of time are synthesized in my work and allow me to visualize different philosophies concerning time. For example, my technique mirrors the scientific belief that the faster a physical object moves the slower it experiences the passage of time. However, while fast action and movement are an inherent part of my process, the effect made visible in the final image is actually contrary to this and, often times, my photographs reflect a feeling of things being very much slowed down, as if to show a moment outside of time.

Contact Information

915 Spring Garden Street, Studio 515
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.

Artist Statement

The creative process is, for me, often a form of meditation. I am interested in the transformative and meditative possibilities that can be investigated when creating visual works and try to evoke a sense of quiet and stillness in my own work through a visual relationship with Nature. I derive my sources from both microcosmic and macrocosmic aspects of the natural world in order to seek out the constants between the grand scheme and the small and intimate. I employ drawing, photography and other media in different reductive processes, searching for the most fundamental qualities in a subject to express ideas about the perception of time, the elusive experience of the present, and the changing yet repetitive patterns in Nature and life.


Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia. PA
BFA, 2-D Fine Arts

Moore Fine Arts Seminar, Florence, Italy

Honors and Awards

1995 – 2001
Frank R. Graham Endowed Scholarship

Moore Presidential scholarship, Philadelphia, PA


Skeetfield, Synfin Industries, North Wales, PA

Portrait, Deptartment of Wildlife Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY


Various Private and Public Collections

Selected Exhibitions

Fall Arts Exhibit, Croft Farm Art Center, Cherry Hill, NJ
Juried Exhibition

LIGHT, Galleries at Moore College of Art and Design , Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

Off the Wall Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Prospects, Levy- Paley Gallery , Philadelphia, PA


POST, Philadelphia, PA

POST, Philadelphia, PA



Images copyright © Mallary Johnson

Copyright © 2000–