Silence – The Messenger and the Metaphor
Preview: Saturday 20th May 7pm
Continues until Saturday 1st July.
Gallery open Weds – Sat 11am-9pm
Artist in conversation with Sculptor Mark Halliday
Online artists talk Tuesday 23rd May 7.30pm
Silence – The Messenger and The Metaphor is essentially a painting exhibition. It includes gesso panel, botanical colour, natural dye, 3-d painting, immersive installation, fashion design and text.
This creative journey started in 2011 when the artist lived in her Nomadic Studio, a converted Luton box truck, immersed in an ancient oak woodland in West Wales for five years. Wanting to make work literally ‘of the woodland’, it was here Sarah explored making oak gall ink. Living lightly, in nature, with a growing awareness of sustainability and the wider issues of plastic pollution and climate change she started looking to source sustainable materials for her creative practice.
The artist broadened her palette by foraging botanical colours from the surrounding environment and developed a garden area for growing dye plants. All materials in this exhibition are sustainably and ethically sourced, canvas is GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standard), panels use poplar wood.
For Sarah, the presence of landscape and being in it has always been essential to the work, especially the ocean and the magical forest cathedral landscape. Work in this exhibition is about perception and sensation – the abstract expression of sensation, emotion, sound, transformation, and beauty.
‘I have always adapted techniques to my own ideas, pushing how I see the boundaries and materials and I’m interested in the feelings that the materials create. The work is also about breathing, about what we yearn for, and the space created in our head when being caught off guard by something which takes us away from our physical reality for a moment. It’s about listening through silence to how the divine is immanent in all things. It’s about being immersed in an environment. During the process of making a body of work I write, and titles come as a part of the process’.
Sarah’s current studio has a large outdoor, wood-fired cast iron bath where she uses botanical colour to dye lengths of canvas before painting. Having started working on unstretched canvas in the studio, merging it with the visceral experience of textiles hanging on the washing line, the work evolved into the hanging installation in this exhibition Forest. With the larger work, hoping to engage physically and spatially as well as conceptually, building relationships between the materials and the abstract, Forest is conceived as a piece which can morph in size to fit different exhibition spaces.
Included in the exhibition are extracts from The Notebooks of Eurydice, a text by Partou Zia. Several years ago, painter Richard Cook, in Newlyn, Cornwall, gave the artist a copy of the manuscript (since part published in a compendium) by his late wife, Persian painter, Partou Zia. It has been a companion, a conversation during the process of creating work, finding it beautiful and profound, of a kind of truth and of human experience. It has helped deepen understanding of her own work. For Sarah, it is important that the work maintains its integrity and to be clear that it is a conversation and not an interpretation. The similarities of approach to practice and the sacred drew her to want to collaborate with it. Zia lived by the sea and its magic, light and energy come out clearly in the work.
Sarah Poland lives in West Wales. Growing up in the Highlands of Scotland, she graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in fashion design in 1997, became a full time-painter and gained an MA in fine art from Aberystwyth in 2015. She has exhibited widely across the UK including a solo exhibition Numinous Light, Dazzling Night – Oriel Q, Narberth and was artist in residence at G.S Artists, Swansea in 2019.