Sarah’s exceptional microcosm was a discovery in the degree show of the Royal College in London. The minute three dimensional collages seemed modest amongst the mostly big ego presentations. Appealing through their playfulness, exploding colours and shapes, Sarah’s works convey an openness and humour commenting about our fragmented world; I literally hear Sarah laugh when I am inspecting her art. To me the works often look like as if someone had taken a hand full of shapes and let them drop onto paper to then freeze in time. To create this spontaneous effect and simultaneously such technically skilled, balanced and complex compositions is in my view Sarah’s true gift.
Sarah Bridgland’s colourful paper works inhabit the territory between sculpture and collage, playfully shifting back and forth between two and three dimensionality. Her 3D paper constructions are reminiscent of foldout design elements from children’s books or models for theatre stages. They combine cut-outs from old magazines and books with drawn and painted imagery to create intimately scaled paper sculptures and abstract compositions inspired by modernism.
The found objects and materials Bridgland incorporates are characterized by a nostalgic touch and play with visual memory, recomposing its tracks and traces in a kaleidoscopic manner. Not only are her so-called BOX WORKS built around collected mid-century packaging, also her more formal works from the Construction series are based on a collage of composed second-hand ephemera and fragments of her own printed media that result in new, abstract forms. This series is not as sculptural as some of her other works, but the compositions equally burst out of the picture plane. What is interesting in this later series is the fact that Bridgland allows empty spaces to persist. This way the drawing background becomes visible and the dynamics between two- and three-dimensionality is strengthened even further.
Each of Bridgland’s pieces is a myriad of textures, shapes and lettering, reflecting her interest in the formal concerns of the Russian avant-garde and Constructivism. However, while the common ground of the Russian avant-garde styles was the desire for a total break with the artistic past, Bridgland permits her desire to hold on to the past and explores the intimate link between object and memory and probably nature. In her creations each element becomes part of a constructed history as time is re-arranged and the viewer is invited to re-experience the past in an entirely new way.
Brisgland’s works have been included in numerous exhibitions in Europe and the US including shows at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK, Manchester Art Gallery, UK and Philbrook Museum of Art, USA.
Exhibitions at the gallery:
kaleidoscope: re-shuffle, 2014 (group show with Pius Fox, Francesco Pessina, Dillwyn Smith and Johannes von Stumm)
Breeder, 2012 (group show with Pius Fox, Saad Qureshi, Peter Matthews, Katherine Murphy and Kate Terry)
Kaleidoscope, 2012 (group show with Henrik Eiben, Pius Fox and Karsten Konrad)
Here and again, 2010 (group show with Katherine Murphy, Susan Stockwell and Kate Terry)
Conservation board, balsa wood, paint, oil pastel, watercolour, pencil
45.7 x 39.7 x 1.5 cm
Conservation board, balsa wood, paint, oil pastel, pencil
46 x 39.5 x 0.8 cm