Portrait of a tulip (in two sessions)
Johnston’s series A Portrait of a Tulip (in two sessions) is a poetic meditation exploring the last cycle of life. While the tulip is emblematic of perfect love in the language of floriography, for Johnston, it is also represents spring and rebirth, harking back to her memory of the colourful market in Brugge where she lived for twenty years. From within this cyclic duality, Johnston has anthropomorphized the tulip as a psychological strategy for confronting her emotions felt in response to the aging of her mother. Her interactive style of portraying the tulip echoes the photographer’s deep longing to close the gap of physical distance between her and her mother, wistfully wishing for extended time and conversation while simultaneously exploring the resoluteness of mortality.