| Sarah Haskell | Pondering the Invisible

“It is only with the heart that one can see ….

…what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

This collection of works began with the death of my beloved brother.

His death tipped me over, spun me around and completely unglued me.

I found my way out of the darkness by following the threads of my art making.

Through this collection of art work I explore a universal story of love and loss, impermanence and transformation.

What You Will” is the first piece in my personal and creative transformation. In the center of this piece is a human body as negative space; my attempt to comprehend the temporary and ephemeral that is evident in all natural/organic matter.

Through the “Unhinged” and “Sinking Houses” series this central body slowly disconnects from the security of the house and the house itself begins to float away. I know from experience that true transformation requires letting go of old structures and patterns; being willing to abandon perceived safety nets.

In “Well Used, Well Loved” I reached out to a wide and diverse community to help tease out myths and attitudes around impermanence, attachment, age and beauty.

I discovered that when people are vulnerable and open, they find common feelings and perspectives. After this community art project, I found myself facing a deeper curiosity about metamorphosis and the natural process of transformation.

Over time my creative exploration shifted from acknowledging impermanence to exploring change and growth. Change is not easy for us to comprehend and accept. In the natural world we experience constant transformation—the weather, the phases of the moon, the rise and fall of tides. And yet, when it comes to facing cycles of change within our own lives, culture and environment, we struggle and try to prevent it.

As a textile artist I am conscious of working with materials that are subject to change from light, humidity, abrasion and temperature. Pushing this characteristic in recent works, ”When We Remember”, “Enduring” and “Looking for Answers”, I am now intentionally aging or weathering my fabrics. I find this intentional abuse and breaking down of my precious fabrics confronts my attachment to permanence and my futile attempts to stop the aging process within my own physical body.

Secrets of the Infinite” explores the journey of birth, death and transformation through a figure and a raven (a widely used metaphor for the human spirit).  As migratory creatures, birds are often seen as messengers of change. Two empty panels represent a point of rest or contemplation.  Change or growth require time — a pause or a period of stillness. I believe that creativity and change begin in this stillness – this place of infinite possibility that extends beyond the horizon.

Tracing the path of this collection, one can easily see a creative transformation — and yet the most significant changes are invisible.  Unseen to the eye, there has been a subtle shift in my heart and spirit. I feel more content living in this temporary and unpredictable world. I am less attached to outcomes, trusting my intuition and more willing to take risks with my art work.

The creative possibilities growing from this collection lure me deeper down the path of self-discovery, transformation and art making — exploring what is invisible and yet essential to be fully human.

And the little prince added,

“But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


View the Exhibit

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