SPECTATOR

Spectator at RHA Ashford Gallery, Dublin 2
8th April - 1st of May 2022


Spectator is a series of new paintings by Sarah Wren Wilson that examined the process of abstraction through a transition of narratives.

 

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Install Images Kate Bowe O'Brien

 

I am a spectator wandering through my surroundings allowing words to fall next to each other as I make notes on my phone, arbitrary and nonsensical phrases, waiting for when and if a time occurs for them to be translated into sketches. They are notes that come from stillness, moments of presence and filtered observations. Admittedly this type of stillness is a rarity as more often than not I am distracted, lost in my own thoughts as my rectangular “know it all’ bings away happily in my pocket. However, stillness or no stillness with every moment of time and as daily life unfolds, consumption occurs. 

 

You see it goes inside before being processed by the internal machine of body and mind, distorted by previous experiences and societal defaults before coming out again in form and colour. A lot of this is consciously done, relying on compositional rules and previously tested mark-making, however, sometimes something slips. Thrown into a space of spontaneity and intuition a rescue operation ensues. Despite pre-determined plans, what comes out is often a lucky dip, an unruly squeeze of a sponge.

 

It is in these moments that other aspects come in, aspects that cannot be readily explained or articulated marks that you make without knowing why. I try desperately to place a word onto them, articulate and justify why my painting has suddenly become something else. I attempt to control; inserting rigid lines and grids but yet at the same time I fight this conformity, the grids waver and I step back.

 

As you walk into this room, you are the spectator, taking in your surroundings. You scan the box, four walls and a floor. An overall impression forms in your mind, the more you look, the more you see, certain things come to the forefront while others fall back. You are separated from the making process, an outsider invited in with fear and excited anticipation into another’s viewpoint. A viewpoint that as you look become yours and no longer mine.

Videography: Niko Salvino