Sara


 

 

My exhibition aims to explore abstract motifs and organic forms, as well as their unique presence in the small details of our daily surroundings through a range of 2D and 3D mediums. A majority of my subjects are common objects that can be found in our everyday lives or in nature, such as an orange, dynamic land erosion, wine glasses, or reflections of clouds on a river. The main focus is to capture the extraordinary complexity that mundane objects have if looked into closely. Another key concept of my exhibition is contrast and duality, which can either be interpreted from the few works that are composed of two complementing parts, or from the use of colors, forms, and subjects that contrast one another. 

The first turning point in my works was when I created the Mother Earth series, composed of Flesh and Erosion. Experimenting with portraying fine details of land erosions on fabric, ceramic, and plaster, was a fascinating experience, which made me continue the theme throughout the rest of the pieces. My works, Extravaganza, Microkosmos, and Squeeze explore this theme through the portrayal of microscopic images of cells. Using a microscope in biology class inspired me to portray this unique subject matter in small individual watercolor paintings, a large-scale acrylic painting, as well as a medium-sized textile piece. I usually employ a vast array of materials, colors, and textures in my works, since it allows me to accurately decide on what selection would be most suitable for emphasizing the flowing forms and the organic properties that each subject holds. In particular, I enjoy using plaster because its versatility allows me to create complex textures on the surface, as can be seen in works such as Kokoro. I was able to highlight the nature of plaster by painting different sections with different watered-down acrylic paints. I also used plaster to create the 3D relief of abstracted forms in the land erosion portrayed in Erosion. The subtle difference in color and texture compared to the complementary ceramic piece emphasized the concept of contrast and duality.

The minimalistic yet stylised works by American artist Georgia O’Keeffe has greatly influenced my exhibition, especially in the way I repeatedly twisted plain fabric as I sewed in the final components of Squeeze to highlight the curvature of mitochondrial cells. Kokoro, which portrays the way our inner emotions influence the way we view the world, was a work that was also heavily inspired by O’Keeffe, as well as Barbara Hepworth, a sculptor known for creating pieces that have an abstract, rounded form.

For the final exhibition of my works, I made sure that the curved, organic theme also applies to the way the scene is set up. Therefore, although the main exhibition is located in front of a harsh L-shaped display panel, I extended the space around the surrounding walls and placed plinths of a range of different heights at the corner and the sides to create a semi-circle. The space has no linearity and is free and flowing, which allows the viewer to wander around, without having to respect a particular order, angle, or direction. I chose to exhibit my works in terms of color and format rather than chronological order or theme. For example, I did not hesitate to place each of the two versions of my abstract Kokoro sculpture on either side of my large-scale abstract painting, Microkosmos, although they are entirely different in terms of theme, because the forms and colors used are similar. Also, I put the two, vibrant-colored figurative paintings Sip and Mikan beside each other on a single wall.

Overall, my exhibition explores the importance of respect for details in our daily lives, a core concept in Japanese culture. Being Japanese myself, I would like to highlight that details are as important as the bigger picture. By presenting this body of work, I am hoping to draw the viewer's attention to how abstract forms are integrated into daily life, and how their presence highlights the unique beauty of ordinary objects, concepts, and sceneries.

 

 

Extravaganza (November 2021)

Watercolour, black paper, perspex frame, posca pens

30 x 44 cm

Extravaganza was inspired by microscopic images of human body cells, simplified in terms of color and form, in order to accentuate the texture created from the layer of watercolors, the delicate white posca pen, the thin black border, as well as the clear acrylic frame. Georgiana Houghton’s abstract mixed media pieces gave me the idea to use this range of materials, and the piece aims to show the delicate nature of our bodies on a microscopic level.

Flesh (March 2021)

Fabric, Stone, Thread

50 x 20 cm

Flesh is a fabric sculpture that reflects forms seen in Antelope Canyon, USA, but in a simplified and modern manner. I was inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe and how she implements a flesh-like quality in her works, which explains why my work looks like an animal organ. The ruffled edges of the fabric give a sense of mystery to the work as if mother nature has a fearful charm that is to be unraveled. It uses found pieces of fabric that give a dynamic effect in terms of texture.

Le Moment (March 2022)

Photographic paper

60 x 42 cm

Le Moment is a photo collage work, which represents the passing of time and the way in which each “moment” merges with the next to create the flow of time. It is created through the combination of the same photo but one in color and the other in monochrome. The layering of the photograph both in the digital editing process and in the physical collage, adds a new dimension to the work. David Hockney’s photomontages were a big influence on this piece.

 

 

Erosion (March 2021)

Plaster, ceramic

40 x 30 x 3 cm

Erosion is a piece composed of two reliefs that mirror each other. It expresses the fact that erosions engraved in the land reflect the negative space of elements such as water and wind. I was particularly influenced by Rachel Whiteread and her relationship with negative space, which made me seek a simplistic yet dynamic finish to my piece. The difference in texture between the plaster piece and the clay piece is also a focal point that attracts attention to the presence of great contrast.

 

 

Kokoro (May 2021)

Newspaper, plaster, watercolor

20 x 40 x 15 cm

Kokoro portrays the way our inner emotions influence our view of the world. The form resembles the eye area of a human, since it represents the “lens” of individuals, and is inspired by the minimalistic sculptures of Barbara Hepworth. The artwork comes in two pieces, the despair version which contains dull colors and has a rough surface, and the joy version painted in warm colors, and has an overall smooth texture. This difference between the two highlights each emotion better.

 

 

Sip (October 2021)

Acrylic paint, canvas

80 x 50 cm

Sip was painted based on an abstract self-generated photograph of two wine glasses in the afternoon sun. Since I distorted the image by intensifying colors as well as certain forms while I worked on the piece, the final outcome is not photorealist. However, my sources of inspiration were works by photorealist artists such as Audrey Flack, who expresses reflections of light on glass through the use of various harmonious colors and brushstrokes.

Squeeze (February 2022)

Fabric, acrylic paint, thread

70 x 50 x 7 cm

Squeeze is a fabric sculpture that portrays a close-up mitochondrial cell. The title comes from the idea that there should be more fascination towards the fact that such a complex “artwork” is squeezed inside body cells to keep an organism alive. The way the fabric is folded and compressed, makes it resemble landscapes illustrated in Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings, showing that the planet has various connections in form. The shimmer of the gold paint on the fabric highlights the curved forms.

Mikan (December 2020)

Acrylic paint, canvas

25 x 30 cm

Mikan is a still-life painting of a clementine sitting on a window ledge on an autumn day. The way the light hits the surface of the subject makes the fruit hold a variation of colors that I illustrated using various brush stroke techniques. I was inspired by Deutch still-life artists such as Jacob Van, who portrays reflected light in a soft, grainy manner. The bottom of the clementine cuts off at the bottom corner, making the overall focus bottom-heavy.

 

 

Microkosmos (January 2022)

Acrylic paint, canvas, posca pens

70 x 100 cm

Microkosmos is a large-scale painting, created based on a microscopic image of blood vessels. The base is painted with acrylic paint, and the small white circles function as an enhancement of the outline is done using white Posca pens that vary in size. By doing so, some delicate components of this work are highlighted dramatically. Georgia O’Keeffe’s use of simplistic, abstract motifs inspired me to create this piece.