Lateralization-An Artistic Experiment


My work is 1980 sq. inches of pattern created using both of my hands and ballpoint pens that documents the way each side of my brain works as well as investigates the relationships between pattern, texture, and negative space.
I wanted to push a simple medium and process to the limit to find complex results while simultaneously forcing myself to work outside of my comfort zone.

Using ballpoint pens and simple patterns like the alphabet or vertical lines repeated over large scales I completed my first goal, and by forcing myself to complete the right-half the piece with my non-dominant right hand I vanquished any confidence and control I had in the outcome.

Through hours of monotonous repeated patterns, experimentation with relationships of negative space, and attempting to mirror my right-brain’s work with my left-brain I made some surprising discoveries; Work with my non-dominant right hand would be more horizontally linear due to increased concentration, tension, and slower work methods, and work with my left would be more skewed horizontally due to the absence of concentration required when using your dominant hand.

An obsessive and rhythmic relationship with the patterns creates a visual diagram explaining the way each side of my brain handles measured and excessive tasks.



standing 7.5 feet tall.

Matthew Johnson

19, student, visual artist and graphic designer.

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