by Sarah Long
I am creating a 3d sculptural drawing for this exhibition entitled Forgive us our trespasses. The sculpture is informed by ideas of land ownership and borders. Legal language surrounding the landscape shapes how we interact with our natural surroundings, creating barriers and borders where no physical structures exist. The artwork depicts an artificial hedgerow isolated from the natural environment and displayed as a barrier of sorts. Thorn-like in appearance and created with wire the hedgerow is a chaotic membrane. Nick Hayes’ The Book of Trespass is a strong influence on the work. Forgive us our trespasses also alludes to religious language. I am very interested in Roland Barthes interpretation of mythology and the idea of grand narratives being imposed on our culture. The use of blue thread refers to our religious past. Borders are a concept that Ireland has struggled with throughout our histories; the play between the natural forms and artificial aspects of the 3d work speaks to the complicated relationship between man-made culture and the natural world.
The 3d work is also accompanied by an audio piece entitled Stalks and Shadows.This piece further reflects on the hedgerow as a preserve for cultural memory; a witness of the many unfolding narratives and histories we collectively have undergone. Mediating on the reclaiming of the Aisling, a 17th century tradition of Irish poetry in which Ireland appears in the form of a beautiful young woman to the poet, the work investigates the religious language and myths that have dominated the cultural narrative.
Long’s work is concerned with the idea of the landscape as a receptacle of human ideas, a place where nature and allegory are intrinsically intertwined. She explores these ideas through painting, drawing, sculpture and art writing. Her work reflects on the influence of Irish history and literature on the collective perspective of the landscape. She is informed by an array of Irish poets, from Yeats to Derek Mahon and by Roland Barthes’ interpretation of mythology. Process is an important element of the work and there is a strong emphasis on the human mark in her use of mediums. The play between the human mark and patterns found in nature is often accompanied by artificial materials such as glitter, stencils and spray paint.
Drawing is the core medium of the artist’s practice. John Berger’s writings on the drawing process are important to Long’s mark-making based process; as a line or area of tone gathers importance not because of what it records what has been seen but because it will lead on to what will be seen.The artist is particularly interested in Berger’s hypothesis that natural forms could express themselves as texts. Berger believed that a primordial, mother tongue language could be uncovered by tracing the energies of natural forms.
Sarah Long’s art practice gives attention to the landscape. For her the landscape has proven to be a captivating and flexible subject, inspiring both figuration and abstraction. She sees the landscape as a mass that surrounds her: a scene, a backdrop, a panorama, a view, a site, a setting, a background, a stage and a destination. She sets out to create a world that is both fantastic and familiar, contrasting ideas of the landscape with its physical reality.
BA (HONS) Fine Art Crawford College of Art & Design (2018)
A Place Where A Thought Might Grow, Sternview Gallery, Cork (2020)
Kingdom, Studio 12, Cork (2019)
Window Texts, Centre for Contemporary Art, Derry-Londonderry (2021)
Outdraw, Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen, Co. Cork(2020)
Land of Some Other Order, Lavit Gallery, Cork (2020)
VUE Art Fair, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2019)
Painters & Makers, SO Fine Art Editions, Dublin (2019)
Alternative Views, Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork (2019)
Feile Gheimhridh, SO Fine Art Editions, Dublin (2018)
Backwater Artist Group (2018/19)
Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre 2019
Bloomers Online Launch, Issue 5 Where We Once Lived, When Myths Collided (2020)
Young Art Writers Programme, Dublin Art Book Fair, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (2019)
Meet the Artist, Backwater Artist Group, Cork (2019)
Bloomers Panel Discussion, The Guesthouse Project, Cork, (2018) Events
Llygaid/Suile/Eyes, Day-long on-line creative event, participating artist in collaboration with Bloomers magazine, REIC, Dublin-based, Irish language, spoken word group and STAMP, Welsh-based magazine and collective (2020)
Sky Landscape Artist of the Year, participating artist on the television show, filmed in Inverary, Scotland by Sky T.V (2018)
Coming Home: Art & The Great Hunger, Project Intern, Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen, Co. Cork (2018)
Nature and oh the horror the horror - self-publsihed zine, exhibited at Common or Garden, Catalyst Arts, Belfast; Quarter Block Party, Cork (2020), K-FEST, Kilorgan, Co. Kerry (2019), PRINT.ed #5, Print Fair, Barcelona (2019)
The Living Mountain, Issue 2 Bloomers, Featured Artist (2018)
Ciaran Langford Memorial Bursary, Backwater Artist Group (2018)
Regional Reviewer for Visual Artist Ireland Newsheet (2019)
Young Art Writers Programme, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios publication, exhibited at Dublin Art Book Fair (2019)
Bloomers Magazine, Issue 4 Out of Body (2019) and Issue 5 Where we once lived, When Myths Collide (2020) contributing writer
Coming Home blog, documenting visitor experience at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre (2018)
Sample Studios Member
CCAD Thesis Award (2018)
RDS VAA Longlist (2018)
OPW Purchase Prize (2018)
Lilly Purchase Prize (2018)
PM Purchase Prize (2018)
Sternview Gallery Prize (2018)