8 July 2023
Sensing a Spirit
Joana Bernd’s visual poetry
by Kate Mothes
Merging photography, painting, and the written word, Joana Bernd‘s multidisciplinary practice observes magical moments in the environment and symbiotic relationships within nature. Using watercolors, inks, and foraged materials like clay, she composes fluid paintings redolent of mysterious figures, sea creatures, or botanicals. Based in Mertesdorf, Germany, a small community near Trier, she has an affinity for her natural surroundings, viewing shorelines and woodland through the lens of native plants and materials.
The artist often documents herself physically connected to objects like bunches of twigs or hag stones, as if in a state of metamorphosis between an earlier version of herself and the new. And occasionally evocative of diary entries, Bernd’s pieces are often accompanied by handwritten prose reflecting her observations of herself and the world around her, often in snippets of memories and passing thoughts. Simultaneously universal and personal, her image-and-text combinations tap into a collective sense of time passing, connection to nature, and inevitable transformation.
© Joana Bernd, courtesy of the artist.