“I achieve the most visceral and focused statements through improvisation,” Johnson has said
. “Improvisation allows me to snatch an image at birth, creating a balance between imposing and communicating with the natural life force resonating from within my materials.” The materials in question are most often marble and slate, and occasionally organic pigment, as in Totem for Edwina Ross
(2007), a piece dedicated to the artist’s great-grandmother. Though the works are largely abstract, there are recognizable shapes and figures here—totems, and the human face, as in High John the Conqueror
(2009), as well as rocks and other natural objects. It’s what Johnson’s work is all about: reworking organic forms in an ancient medium.