SARAH SUTTON

I am interested in disembodiment in contemporary culture as an effect of parallel paradigm shifts. The concepts of discrete entities, boundaries and borders have been perceptually and culturally challenged. I am specifically exploring the impact of globalization and the internet, as well as recent research in biology that centers on bacterial symbiosis.  How can we visually depict and explore our dynamic and symbiotic world in a way that is legible with out reinforcing binaries through conventions like perspective and figure ground?  My painting practice centers on the fluidity of boundaries using analog models of digital technology to construct complex still images.

Models are integral to my painting process and allow me to create images that are not based on ‘real space’ or a singular moment. My paintings are based on three-dimensional collages that I make of overlaid, chopped up, ripped and folded fragments of printed images that depict many genres, including vintage and current advertisements, post industrial landscapes and scientific illustrations. Created and found objects such as architectural models, clothing, rusting metals, organic matter, minerals and sculpture fragments are also intertwined to create multiple landscapes. All are arranged over multiple layers of two-dimensional planes of plexiglass, and viewed from above like an analog version of a layered Photoshop image.

News coverage of collapsed sweatshops blends with high fashion advertisements, bundles of discarded clothes from the thrift shop overlay images of dress patterns from the 1950’s. The spliced, sampled, and seemingly unrelated images and textures are combined in grayscale to create visual rhythms and resonances. From far away, the layered imagery appears to be a multifaceted jewel, but from close up emerges a destroyed and broken dystopic, visual ruin.



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