Jonna McKone’s work explores the way traces of the past become extensions of the present, sometimes grafted onto places or personal stories in ways that remain unseen, hardly seen, misunderstood or buried. With a sense of place and historical research, her work aims to explore the connection between land and memory, testimony and history, and the material qualities of sound, silence, film and digital media. She is currently working on film in Maryland's eastern shore and developing a book with youth who have been in foster care and are using photography to recover their life stories.
Jonna earned her MFA in Experimental & Documentary Arts from Duke University and a BA from Bowdoin College. Her recent films have involved burying and soaking film to explore processes of decay and fracture; another observational documentary meditated on economic vestiges of failed industries in a rural town and she more recently completed an essay film that winds between her father’s archives, family memory and slippages in understanding across generations. She also works in oral history, sound, community-based art-making, and printmaking. Her work has been recognized by several fellowships and artist grants. Her film, photography and audio works have been installed in film festivals museums, galleries and national memorial parks.
Alongside her practice, Jonna teaches courses and workshops for universities and community-based groups including Skidmore College, Johns Hopkins University's Youth Film Arts Program, Appalshop and Refugee Youth Project. She works as a radio and video producer/editor.