532 Bryant Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301
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Sara Cole
Artist Statement

Ever since my first art making memory, creativity has been a multi-sensory experience for me. It has also been an act of experimentation, born out of curiosity and a need to know attitude about the interactions of materials and processes. from my early studies with clay, Installation and performance, through my years obsessed with wax and encaustic, to my current usage of coffee, graphite and pressurized water, I not only rely on my sight, but also my touch, smell and hearing. I choose materials that intrigue my tactile sensibilities; I need to spend time with materials, rubbing them in my hands, experimenting with all of their properties as I integrate new materials and experimentations into my work.

I've been using coffee in my art for over a decade. i love the act of working with coffee; it is both profoundly simple and yet profoundly complex. as i work, the smell permeates my art studio. as the coffee dries, it leaves marks on the paper not unlike the rings of a tree trunk, referencing the passage of time.

I utilize the hybridized botanical shapes and curvilinear forms as metaphors for the human condition, and specifically as a reference point to my own struggles with illness and facing the tenuous often frail balance within the spectrum of living and dying. The semi-abstracted botanical symbology is personally an ideal form to represent human frailty; nature is fragile yet indomitable and it has a remarkable way of thriving within a deeply visual display especially as it grows and thrives and the often very colorful way in which it expires.

I began referencing ideas of auspiciousness several years ago when i placed literal symbolic references of the eight auspicious symbols of Tibetan Buddhism into my encaustic paintings. i have since withdrawn from the literal visual translations of the philosophies behind these symbols and now, more subtlety, convey and portray ideas of benevolence, balance, restitution and spiritual prosperity in my layers of paint and graphite.

My work has become a process of making marks, and then correcting those marks, always adding and fixing, and is reflective of my path in search of my ongoing quest for physical health.


 

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