Work samples

  • Faded Than Vanished
    Available for Purchase
  • Ruins, I
  • Still from For The Time Being
  • Slow Drift #1
    Chemi-lumen from Slow Drift work in progress

About Jonna

Baltimore City

Jonna McKone is an artist, filmmaker, and photographer.  Her work spans video and film, documentary, archives, abstraction and long-term collaborations to explore personal and collective histories, land and memory, and overlooked histories. 

Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums including recent shows: first last light at Full Circle Gallery in Baltimore, MD; Slow Drift at VisArts in Rockville, MD, and Notes from Home at… more

Slow Drift

Slow Drift is a photography, installation and research project exploring landscapes connected to legacies of plantations in Maryland.  The work records soundscapes, people, landscapes, suburban and rural spaces and objects. Each image traverses history through large format photographs, non-lens processes, medium format photography, and archives.
  • Paul, Cambridge, MD
    2021, medium format film, archival pigment print
  • Simpsonville, Howard County, MD
    2021, large format film, archival pigment print
  • Slow Drift #1
    Chemi-lumen print
  • “The Land Lies in Ancient Ridges” (a letter written by Richard Ferris, April 15, 1862), Takoma Park, MD
    2021, large format film, archival pigment print
  • Pear Tree
    2021, medium format film, archival pigment print
  • Excerpts of Slow Drift
    Exhibition view at Baltimore Photo Space
  • Installation view @ VisArts
    installation view as part of "Slow Drift" exhibition at VisArts
  • Installation view @ VisArts
    chemi-lumen and color works at VisArts in Rockville, MD as part of a solo show

first last light

first last light ruminates on how the earth holds time, keeping a record of its own histories through fossils, waterways, soil, and the shifting atmospheric qualities of a place. I began photographing this series during the quiet moments I sought throughout the pandemic, thinking about how fragile and porous our bodies are, embedded in the environment and built places. This work threads dreams and myths, the drama of living, the unpredictability of the weather, data collection, detritus left in public parks, and the life cycles of plants, rocks and animals. 

Traditional landscape photography frames nature as an aesthetic resource, with looking and possessing closely entwined. Instead, these works consider the reciprocity of attuning to place and the influences that pervade the living world. Through my work in Full Circle’s color darkroom and informed by the research of friend and collaborator Alica Puglionesi, the hues, light and qualities of color in these images also began to tell a story. This work for me is about redefining relationships with nature, land and people and questioning habitual ways of knowing and perception. 

The text by Alicia Puglionesi that accompanies these images is repurposed from William and Elizabeth Denton’s The Soul of Things (1863; 1874), and reflects on the Dentons’ purported mediumistic ability to read the past inscribed within materials.

  • First Last Light Installation Image
  • Faded Than Vanished
  • Megan, Bay of Fundy, ME
    2021, medium format film, archival pigment print
  • Apples
    2022, large format film, archival pigment print - Corvallis, OR
  • Rock pile
    2022, medium format film, archival pigment print, Baltimore, MD
  • flowering rasberry
    2022, medium format film, archival pigment print
  • Patty
    2022, medium format film, archival pigment print
  • Ornithology diagram
    2022, medium format film, archival pigment print

Ruins, I

This installation was performed with members of Raw Silk. Made from a 100-foot roll of 16mm film shot in the Walters Art museum, the objects seen in the film were illuminated with conservation-appropriate lighting. The footage maps archaeological eras through chronological and proportional 16mm footage -- each frame of the film represents approximately 1.6 years. The emulsion was then subjected to processes like bleaching, burying, soaking and scratching inspired by technological, geographic or geological events associated with archaeological periods and eras dating back to 4500 BCE (the age of the oldest object documented in the film.) (Camera/Editor/Director)
  • Still from film, 1
  • Still from film, 2
  • Still from film, 3
  • Embedded video media on Vimeo

A Year In Voicemails

A short documentary about places and traces -- abstracted phone booths become increasingly legible as the catalog of information about a father and son grows. This piece asks us to consider the nature of the artifacts we leave behind, particularly audio voicemails, a digital artifact, recorded and performed, with expectation of being quickly deleted.  (Camera/Editor/Director)
  • A Year In Voicemails
    clip from "A Year in Voicemails"

Yields

An experimental documentary film, non-narrated and observational, that looks at the historic and economic vestiges embedded in gesture and landscape in a rural region of North Carolina. Yields meditates on the failure of industrial promise through a series of short vignettes that aggregate to express how absurdly intertwined a place can become with what it produces. The film is a meditation on sound, landscape, and labor in a rural economy abruptly severed from its historical connection to the production and processing of poultry. (Camera/Editor/Director)
  • Still from film, 1
    still from film
  • Still from film, 2
  • Still from film, 3
  • Still from film, 4
  • Still from film, 5
  • Yields
    https://vimeo.com/123304456/551591eb43

For The Time Being


A nonfiction film about my father, archives, the nature of conversation and dealing with unexpected loss. A toy airplane and the filmmaker's deliberate break with the rules of filmmaking become reoccurring themes.
  • For The Time Being Intro Clip
    https://vimeo.com/209196922
  • Still from film (16mm color)
  • Still from film (16mm b & w)
  • Still from film (16 mm b +w)
  • Still from film (16 mm b +w)
  • Still from film (16 mm b +w)
  • Still from an animation with archival materials

An Incomplete History

This installation used text, notes from my father's archive that I installed walls around the room and projections and TVs as mediums to come to terms with my father's untimely death.
  • 1-An Incomplete History.JPG
  • An Incomplete History 3.JPG
  • wall text - An Incomplete History
    Text rubbings at Skidmore's Case Gallery. This body of work was completed during an the Storytellers Institute Arts Residency
  • An Incomplete History - wall text
    documentation of a show at Skidmore College's Case Gallery

A Note From Home

A Note From Home is a long-term, participatory project and forthcoming photo book using photography, portraiture, oral history, writing and archives to explore the complexity of family and personal narratives in collaboration with young people who have experience in the foster care system or with homelessness. The images above consist of portraits I shot, collaborative images and images from family archives. Initially funded by the Center for Documentary Studies' Lewis Hine Fellowship, each young person involved in the project produced their own body of work, exploring an aspect of their personal narrative in search of new meanings of home and family. The work explores rites of passage, the strength required to constantly rebuild home, landscape as a form of protection, imagined childhood maps, and the everyday things people carry with them.  
  • Anita
    2019, medium format film, archival pigment print
  • Stephanie
    Stephanie, archival pigment print from medium format film
  • Stephanie M
    Stephanie M, archival pigment print from medium format film
  • K'la
    K'la archival pigment print from medium format film
  • Mariah
    2019, archival pigment print from medium format negative
  • Anthony
    2019, archival pigment print from medium format negative
  • Dios
    2018, archival pigment print from medium format film
  • Alberto
    2018, archival pigment print from medium format film
  • Black Rock Group Show
    An installation of five images part of a juried show at the Black Rock Center for the Arts (2019). These images won first place in the show.

First Last Light

first last light ruminates on how the earth holds time, keeping a record of its own histories through fossils, waterways, soil, and the shifting atmospheric qualities of a place. I began photographing this series during the quiet moments I sought throughout the pandemic, thinking about how fragile and porous our bodies are, embedded in the environment and built places. This work threads dreams and myths, the drama of living, the unpredictability of the weather, data collection, detritus left in public parks, and the life cycles of plants, rocks and animals. 

Traditional landscape photography frames nature as an aesthetic resource, with looking and possessing closely entwined. Instead, these works consider the reciprocity of attuning to place and the influences that pervade the living world. Through my work in Full Circle’s color darkroom and informed by the research of friend and collaborator Alica Puglionesi, the hues, light and qualities of color in these images also began to tell a story. This work for me is about redefining relationships with nature, land and people and questioning habitual ways of knowing and perception. 

The text by Alicia Puglionesi that accompanies these images is repurposed from William and Elizabeth Denton’s The Soul of Things (1863; 1874), and reflects on the Dentons’ purported mediumistic ability to read the past inscribed within materials.

  • Radiant Forces: Sulfurous Blue
  • Faded Than Vanished
  • Radiant Forces: Ruby
  • Installation Image of First Last Light