By Women, For Women
By Women, For Women - Solo Exhibition, GFI Art Gallery, Gqeberha
"Show a people as one thing over and over again, and that is what they become"
-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Sarah Walmsley's work offers a revised approach to the sculptural female nude. Her emotive sculptures gracefully bear the weight of their experience as they communicate with each other and their viewers. Through these sculptures she aims to represent women, by women, in the way they have elected to be represented. The series includes portraits of various female figures whom Walmsley knows personally and is inspired by. The work addresses the ways in which the female body has been voyeuristically represented in art and aims to reclaim the female nude, through authentic portraits of women by a female artist. These portraits aim to honour and celebrate the power, strength and beauty of women and represent their intersectional identities.
In line with Chimamanda Adichie's "Never a Single Story", we cannot allow the identities of women to be relegated to these singular perspectives, which are usually, if not mostly borne from the male perspective or gaze. As a female-identifying artist and sculptor, it is my responsibility to address this misrepresentation with a re-representation of women, for women - women of the present and future. This is the first installment of the travelling exhibition which will grow along its journey, with more work being added to each showing.
Being, 2019, resin, glass & marble dust
The fragility and ethereal beauty of the glass combined with the sublime strength and ancient sculptural power of marble represent the essence of the female form and woman as a whole. This is heightened by the contemplative yet strong pose of the figure. Although this rendition of "Being" is part of an edition, each one is completely unique in its choice of high quality glass, combined with the swirling formation of resin and marble dust to create the one-of-kind sculptures pictured below.
Solo Exhibition (State of the ART Gallery)
Solo Exhibition 2018:
Absence and Presence: In Search of Memory and the Imago
This body of work is centred around three main themes. These include absence and presence, memory and the female nude. In order to explore and make tangible these themes, I created a series of figurative sculptures in the mediums of bronze, glass and resin. These sculptures are displayed as pairings and groupings which invite a visual dialogue between the figures. As this body of work was created in partial fulfilment of my Master’s in Fine Art Sculpture, I began with a research question which explored what the role of memory and the imago is within dualistic representations of the absent and present, as represented in the mediums of bronze, glass and resin.
The creative and research processes culminated in the body of artwork, entitled Absence and Presence: in Search of Memory and the Imago, which is presented as a narrative installation and exhibition of sculptural work. This body of work was driven by the creation of a signifier and allegory for an absent presence or present absence which will always evoke the contemplation of this interplay between these two terms and the ways in which they define and become one another within the narrative of personal memory. Personal memories will always collide with the present and bring with them the memories of absence, but encourage the subject to make tangible this absence in order to confront it and in doing so, realise that it cannot be addressed separately from the presence which defines it.
View the sculptures available to purchase here