Artists statement

The work explores the pictorial surface and space as a platform for metamorphosis, transformation and evolution. The paintings often have a playful element, hovering between abstract and representational, elevating the mundane to an absurdly heightened status. The imagery is sourced from a diverse variety of influences including fabrics, mosaics, Chinese landscape painting, Flemish primitive painting, micro/macro biological, sci-fi and pseudo science, as well as referencing traditional domestic and quotidian crafts. I am also interested in the potential of the decorative itself to act as a disruptive or unsettling force.

My recent paintings follow an evolving methodology. I create detailed, multi-layered, fragmented surfaces through which I aim to investigate perception and illusion. The forms, shapes and lines that swarm across the surface evolve gradually over time. The process consists of both systematic repetition and reflective experience and the results are never entirely predictable or envisaged. The nets or webs also act as a form of diagram to the paintings, their flow often working in opposition to the rhythms of the underlying layers to create visual tensions and dynamic movement. The results play with the stability of the viewing experience, sometimes reversing the negative spaces and disrupting the saturated colour field, confusing the eye and tricking the brain. There is a desire through the labour intensity of the work for the monumental and prosaic to co-exist and for the results to act as a record of the temporal activity, tracing its rhythms and movements.

Although painting is the locus of my practice, I also work in a variety of mediums, including photography, printmaking and large scale installations, which immerse the viewer in sensory environments. An interactive dialogue between the installations and paintings often develop, with one informing and advancing the other.

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Copyright © Sara Willett