Sarah Davidson


Sarah Davidson: The Secret Life of Forms
Erin Stump Projects
April 26–May 25, 2019
text by Sarah Davidson

"Tentacularity is about life lived along lines — and such a wealth of lines — not at points, not in spheres”  (Donna Haraway, ‘Tentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene’)

Who can claim to see, from a body or a place, anything besides a tangled thicket? Among trees, shifting wind and light diffract into patterns, which reveal new dimensions of moss and critter, colour and texture. In The Secret Life of Forms, a mesh of pigments and lines reframe the 'natural', casting light on Sarah Davidson's various references. Sinuous lines link to Hilma af Klint, Maria Sibylla Merian, or Ernst Haeckel - through a sieve of observation and projection. Weaving of this kind is not the disembodied view of a transcendentalist; the dizzying effect of roaming perspective is a spidery thought. Sticky webs fold and cling as spiders weave meanings in the changing light and the wind between branches.

Sarah Davidson works between drawing and painting to create compositions in which shadowy, biomorphic figures and delicate, foliated fragments mingle. Critters and space collapse in upon one another, suggesting a permeable web. Both the eye and the mind work towards the known--animals, plants, brush marks, lines--but are caught in a space of undoing. Making reference to a history of discourses constructing the ‘natural’ world, her works investigate bodies, nature, environment and the tangled strings which often bind them together.

Sarah Davidson has exhibited across Canada at venues including Unit 17 (Vancouver), The Power Plant (Toronto), Little Sister (Toronto), Birch Contemporary (Toronto), The New Gallery (Calgary), SiteFactory (Vancouver), The Bakery (Vancouver), Chernoff Fine Art (Vancouver) and Audain Gallery (Vancouver). She was a finalist in the 2018 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, and is the recipient of several other awards and residencies including a SSHRC Graduate Scholarship (2018), and AiR Sandnes residency in Sandnes, Norway (2015). She received her BFA from Emily Carr University (2015) and her MFA from the University of Guelph (2019).