08.04.2021 - 08.05.2021
Sarah Annand, AWM Series - 2, 2020, inkjet print on cotton rag
Sarah Annand is an emerging Canberra-based artist, photographer and textile designer. Her work explores the architectural landscapes of the cities and suburbs, with palette and textures that reflect the built environment. Sarah’s art is largely influenced by the unique shapes and lines of Canberra, but her time living in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as Dunedin, New Zealand have given her further inspiration for her work. This exhibition explores the central elements that underpin her distinctive style: texture, tone and form.
Influenced by the bold and candid style of modernist and brutalist architecture, Sarah’s work is an exploration of the fundamental shapes, shadows and angles that constitute the built environment. These shapes are most evident in the mid-20th Century structures that make up Canberra’s urban landscape, such as the Australian War Memorial Annex and Giralang Primary School by Enrico Taglietti; Cameron Offices and the UC Student Residences by John Andrews; as well as several other Canberra architectural icons such as the High Court of Australia, Campbell Park Offices, National Gallery of Australia, Churchill House and ANU School of Music. Canberra provides an unparalleled opportunity for artistic analysis, with its stark contrast between these bold monuments of human engineering situated amongst extensive tracts of native Australian bush.
The Building Blocks exhibition comprises the three key aspects of Sarah’s work: her photography, painting and textile design. Her photography is a way of capturing the individual elements that make up Canberra’s defining architectural masterpieces; two of those buildings analysed in this exhibition are the Australian War Memorial Annex in Mitchell and the National Gallery of Australia. Sarah’s lens captures the striking intersection of light and geometry that define these structures, and her composition highlights the foundational elements that they are composed of – bold polygons, muted tones, and earthy textures.
Building on her photography, Sarah captures the essence of these structures in her acrylic paint work, highlighting the defined lines that give brutalist and modernist architecture its unique style. Structure and shadow merge to create unique shapes and angles that give subtle but clear nods to her influences. Her palette reflects the kinds of materials often used in these styles of architecture, with concrete and wood translating to subdued tones, and her brushwork echoes the tactile qualities of these surfaces. This approach is most clearly represented in the eponymous Building Blocks, a two-part work that is one of Sarah’s defining critiques of urban architecture, and exhibits all the underlying aspects that define her work.
Her photography and acrylic work culminates with Façade, a textile inspired by Canberra brutalism. This work exhibits all the hallmarks of Sarah’s style – muted tones and bold lines – with the addition of the raw, organic texture of woven natural linen. Rough and imperfect, natural linen is the ideal interpretation of the wood and concrete surfaces that constitute so many brutalist structures.
Sarah’s work in the Building Blocks exhibition presents the viewer with a deconstructed urban landscape. With these iconic structures broken down into their components, her work asks the viewer to observe the raw elements that comprise our world, and to extract and analyse the underpinning shapes, shadows, lighting and texture that define our urban and suburban human environments.
Gavin Annand, Freelance writer.
List of Works
1. AWM Annex Series #1, 2020, digitally printed with archival ink on cotton rag, 59.4 x 42cm, 1/5, $350, unframed
2. AWM Annex Series #2, 2020, digitally printed with archival ink on cotton rag, 42 x 59.4 cm, 1/5
3. High Court Series #3, 2021, digitally printed with archival ink on cotton rag, 29.7 x 42 cm, 1/5
4. High Court Series #4, 2021, digitally printed with archival ink on cotton rag, 42 x 29.7 cm, 1/5
5. Annex #1, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 33 x 42 cm, 1/1, $580 framed,
6. Annex #2, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 43 x 33 cm, 1/1, $580, framed
7. NGA Series #8, 2021, digitally printed with archival ink on cotton rag, 29.7 x 42 cm, 1/5, $220, unframed
8. NGA Series #9, 2021, digitally printed with archival ink on cotton rag, 29.7 x 42 cm, 1/5, $220, unframed
9. NGA Series #1, 2020, digitally printed with archival ink on cotton rag, 42 x 29.7 cm, 1/5, $220, unframed
10. Shadow Series #1, 2021, acrylic on paper, 30.5 x 36 cm, 1/1, $510, framed
11. Shadow Series #2, 2021, acrylic on paper, 30.5 x 36 cm, 1/1, $510, framed
12. Shadow Series #3, 2021, acrylic on paper, 30.5 x 36 cm, 1/1, $510, framed
13. Building Blocks #1, 2021, acrylic on paper, 52.4 x 41 cm, 1/1, $600 framed
14. Building Blocks #2, 2021, acrylic on paper, 62 x 52.2 cm,1/1, $720 framed
15. Façade, 2020, hand painted design - digitally printed with water based pigment ink on linen / cotton, 100 x 140 cm,1/1, $360 framed