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Repair- an exhibition by Sarah Goudie

On my various visits over the past few days, I was lucky enough to catch the ‘Repair’ exhibition by the artist Sarah Goudie held within the Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Within the show were sculptures and drawings, all beautiful and all eye-catching.

Sarah Goudie (born in 1971) has studied at both the Chelsea School of Art 1996-1997 and the Wimbledon School of Art 1997-2000. The title of the exhibition originates from her drawing ‘Repair.’

Repair by Sarah GoudieRepair, pencil on paper 2010,  33x27cm

As soon as I saw this piece I was moved by how organic it seemed. Set against the white paper, the drawing rolls out towards you, the detail and intricacy powerful and bold through the monotone markings.

Intertwined, the limbs and folds of skin seem to become absorbed by one another, seeping into crevices and drawing in, which suggests deep reflection. The closed eyes of the figure also add to this, suggesting calm contemplation.

'Listen' by Sarah GoudieListen, pencil on paper 2012, dimensions unknown

‘Listen’ is particularly overwhelming, the sheer size of the drawing flowing out across the wall as you view the piece, encapsulating the sublime in art through the body.

Goudie represents the female body and the feminine throughout various pieces in the exhibition, for example through ‘Honour.’

Detail of 'Honour'Honour, mixed media 2012, dimensions unknown

Goudie says of her sculpture work:

“A return to making objects after 10 years of  drawing has led to a developing  relationship  between soft fabric forms and the brittle, crispness of porcelain.   Interested in collective experience and stored history brought me to the idea of bones holding the answers.  I looked to whale bones and hip bones for shape references and ancient history metaphors.  I do not seek a literal representation in what I make but a leaning towards something potentially recognisable.”

‘Honour’ is delicate and sensual. One feels the need to reach out and touch these beautiful objects, but with a fear that they will shatter instantly. Care and respect is shown through the gentle caress of the royal purple luxurious fabrics, which lend an almost regal quality. The feminine is shown within these rich materials- the porcelain (reflecting the porcelain used for dolls), the lace, the velvet.

These are also reminiscent of memories- for childhood items lost, rediscovered, old friendships and mementos, souvenirs of the past. The velvet raises these pieces to almost votive objects, placing them on pedestals for the viewer to admire.

I have enjoyed discovering the work of Sarah Goudie and meeting her personally and I am sure others are drawn to her work as much as I have been. The exhibition is running till the 6th of October 2012, and is well worth a visit.

Other pieces of work from the artist can be viewed via her website.

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