Anthony Johnson

Letter of Support and Invitation: Champagne at 30,000 feet.

Dear Reader,

I am writing in support of Jessie Bullivant’s collaborative work with Laresa Kosloff, “Artwork haiku work” from 2014, which I’ve never seen but I know. It was apparently commissioned by Will Foster, whom I don’t know, for the exhibition SUB12, which I never went to, at the Substation, which I’ve never been to.

Jessie described the work to me as a series of 16 photographs of texts inscribed into picturesque sandy beaches. Sometimes featuring a sunset, or a seagull, yet always a blue ocean and mostly a sky in the background. The scribblings in the sand are part way between an SOS message for a passing pilot or household fly to notice, a romantic gesture, or a ‘wish you were here!’. The content of these temporary messages in the sand are descriptions of artworks, written in a haiku structure (5/7/5). 

It is a strange thing to know a person’s artwork rather intimately, or so it might seem at least, yet not know them personally. In fact, Jessie Bullivant doesn’t even know the actual artwork of mine 1 which they referenced within their own collaborative work, “Artwork haiku work” from 2014 2. They simply heard about it from another artist who apparently saw it, – the artwork, not the fly in the plane. In fact I’ve no idea who saw the fly in the plane, besides myself. I wish I did. It would be novel to talk to them now, be it some ten years later; about the fly; about the flight; about the fly flying inside the plane inflight and us flying inside the plane for that matter too. Perhaps those on the plane who ‘…waved their hand around their head momentarily…’ may not have even registered the fly on the plane. Yet perhaps they might not have registered themselves on the plane. Such are things I do not know. Things I will not know.

I happen to know Jessie, and Laresa for that matter, less than I know their collaborative work, “Artwork haiku work”, yet I’m sure I’ve seen pictures of their work on a screen 3, and certainly that particular work.  (Insert momentary break to Google image search: ‘Jessie Bullivant artist’ and ‘Laresa Kosloff artist’)4 In fact I often think of a certain work by Jessie Bullivant. A work of which I’ve never actually seen yet have seen pictures of on a screen – yes, this screen. It’s called “Champagne”, if I remember rightly. The walls of the small room the work, “Champagne”, occupied were painted with a household paint colour titled, Champagne. That’s the work, or at least to my knowledge, and it is one of my favourite works, period. (Suggested Google search break: “Jessie Bullivant Champagne”)

One of these days I like to think Jessie and I will meet, ideally Laresa too. Ideally by accident, flying on a plane perhaps and ideally we would share a champagne to mark the occasion.

Until then,
Anthony Johnson


1 Anthony Johnson (2010) “A fly in a plane” Photographic print on paper, Aluminium frame (Text on print reads:) A fly in a plane On a recent flight I released a fly into the passenger cabin of an airplane. During the flight I glimpsed sight of the fly in flight throughout the airplane on two occasions, along with several passengers waving a hand in the air around their head momentarily
2 The beach image in question contains the text ‘take a fly with you / on commercial flight / and let it fly too’.
3 This screen in fact, meaning my computer screen not yours; this same screen I coincidentally, or not, happened to track a household fly with a cursor when said fly landed on my screen before proceeding to randomly, or not, traverse the pixelated terrain.
4 Search confirms I don’t recognise the persons the search brings up, which I can only assume is the artists themselves. Yet I don’t recognise the images of persons brought up via ‘Anthony Johnson artist’ either. However I do vaguely recognise some images of what I can confidently assume is the artwork of the artists, Jessie and Laresa.