Johanna Storm Rusu

Master of Ceramics

Other

About me

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Johanna graduated as veterinary surgeon in Germany 1984. Main vet in Loro Parque, Tenerife, looking after 3000+ parrots, chimpanzees, dolphins and sea lions 1986-1988. Head-hunted by Madrid zoo, where she became technical director 1988-1990. Joined the “international zoo veterinary group” in Yorkshire, built up a clinic dedicated to the primary care and second opinion referrals for birds and exotic animals, specialising in their medicine for over 30 years. Currently consultant to “IZVG” and “Worldwide Vets International”, involved for several years in endangered bird conservation projects in India and the Seychelles. Retired and started masters in ceramics program 2017. Planning a 2022 residency in Hungary, three industry placements and 1:1 mentoring by ceramic artists, elevating her practice and developing all her skills. Johanna throws, hand-sculpts, press-moulds, mould-makes and slip-casts, combining all with her love of printmaking. Her research is an intense meditation on death, memory and loss.

Memory and loss: Skeletal bones epitomise nature’s perfection of form through function. Their intrinsic beauty is accentuated when viewed through radiography, a non-invasive imaging technique allowing us to see radio-dense materials such as bone. Bones are hidden structures within allowing specialised movement, they are the scaffolding holding softer structures in place and, ultimately, that which remains long after death and organic decomposition have set in. As reminders of lost life, bones have become timeless symbols, linking cultures across continents, history, ascribed cultural meanings and rituals - ultimately connecting vast diversities of cultural belief systems and attitudes towards life and death.

Kiln flames

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Frigate skull

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Shoulder blade

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Porcelain rib

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Lewis urn

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Frigate II urn

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Yanomami bowl

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Yanomami bowl detail

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Yanomami bowl group II

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Cinerary jar

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Keywords: Meditation on death, Intuitively sculpting, Radiography images, Combining printmaking and ceramic sculpture, Oneiric narrative, Memorialisation of life, Remembrance in death, Memory triggers, Sheperd, Witness, Tacit knowledge of death