Thursday, 13 May 2010
Sarah Venus Tactillia
8th May – 20th June 2010
Sarah Venus' dedication to self expression through visual art has never been limited to any one medium. She feels that the various processes and materials involved in what is often disparagingly termed "craft" simply broadens her palette. She works with textiles, ceramics, painting and printmaking - in two and three dimensions.
Her inspiration springs from the exciting responses and relationships that form the margins where things meet; where elements interact, sea meets land, wind meets tree, hair meets skin, old meets new or nice meets nasty. The tension between good old fashioned craftsmanship and the need for a raw physicality of expression is also an ongoing concern in her work.
Her three dimensional felt forms are made from the fleeces of rare and minority indigenous sheep, often from the farm flock at her home near Scarborough. She says of her work, ‘Some of my pieces incorporate other materials such as rubber and bristles, hopefully creating a thought provoking and sometimes disturbing result’. Her work spans a range of media, including lino-print making, machine embroidery and felt. She also makes functional pieces, “Ecozies”, cosies for teapots.
Across all the various ways in which she works there is a common thread which is the inspiration she draws from natural forms, their interactions and tensions. Her use of rare and locally sourced fleeces give her work an organic quality which sits easily with our perceptions of the craft of felt making, but her incorporation of man-made elements such as rubber and plastic give her work a unique edge.
Her forms are considered and constructed in a way which has more in common with sculpture than traditional felt making and her work is often reminiscent of the organic forms of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore - unsurprising, as they are all inspired by the Yorkshire landscape.
Andrew Dalton, Gallery Manager.