Artificial Heart “Aquifer Bag” for EcoArtSpace Store
A small cross-body shoulder bag hand-made by Houston-based artist Heather L. Johnson, as part of her wearable art brand, “Artificial Heart”. Each piece is individually crafted from repurposed clothing and other salvaged materials, and machine embroidered with maps and diagrams that appear in the artist’s drawings, installations and mixed media works. Sized to carry a book, phone, wallet and other essentials, it has 4 pockets (including an internal zippered one for valuables), two slots for writing instruments, a D-ring for keys and a long, easy-to-wear strap.
The “Aquifer Bag” takes its inspiration from the Igneous Aquifer in West Texas which sits beneath the towns of Marfa and Alpine, that are experiencing dramatic booms in tourism and development. As the case with so many water tables around the U.S., the aquifer’s levels have been dropping radically due to over pumping. The embroidered topographic lines on the bag’s shell are based on a map that measures the aquifer’s depth; it is unknown how much water it still contains.
Johnson originally started “Artificial Heart” in 2014 hand-embroidering designs on gently used clothes, then set the practice aside to travel the Americas by motorcycle for her multi-year project In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful. Prompted by the need for face coverings during Covid, she revived the brand, making masks meant for adornment as well as protection. As demand waned, she taught herself to make bags, and has been building her sewing skills ever since. You can find all her current wearable artworks at https://artificialheart.net/
*NOTE: fabric types and colors change frequently according to fabric encountered/ available.
DIMENSIONS: 11”h x 9.5”w x 2”d, Strap: 45”