Sarah Irvin (Artist)
Modern Floral Watercolors

About the Artist

While the world is imperfect, there are moments that allow us to see the way an undisturbed world was meant to be. In these moments, we look past the corrupted aspects of life and are able to meditate on this finite experience resembling perfection. Our ability to remember these brief moments of sublimity carries us through the times where the cruelty of our world is dramatically present. Therefore, these recollections of the ideal become paramount in one’s daily ability to function. However, the finite nature and constant changes of the human mind through the course of life constrain our efforts to accurately recall these experiences. My work is an illustration of our limited efforts to recall and further comprehend these rare glimpses of the idealized world.

An example of such limitations is my grandfather, Jimmy Rogers. In the late 1980’s he was instrumental in establishing and designing the International Water Lily Gardens of San Angelo, Texas. I believe his main goal in creating the garden was to provide a place where one can experience the ideal even if only for a fleeting moment. A few decades after creating the garden it became obvious that my grandfather was developing Alzheimer’s Disease. His progressive loss of memory and brain function illustrates the limitation of human experience and mental capacity for processing moments of perfection, even the moments that we help create. I use images from his garden, attempting to recreate memories in a physical form that can not be removed by corporal decline. I carry the responsibility of creating a place where one experiences remnants of perfection.

I recreate the conception of the environment of the garden as well as the glimpses of the ideal to be found there, using methods that visually recreate memory to dictate the appearance of the work. The paintings themselves become the effort to grasp the ideal. Each of my marks represents a memory covering and editing the previously recorded memories to form a cohesive expression of human comprehension. I use carbon paper to transfer linear elements to the work which limits my ability to see the work as I create, forcing me to rely more fully on memory. I include text in the work which refers to specific memories. The thin application of paint in translucent layers references the ethereal quality of the processes of the mind. The imperfection of these methods goes on to illustrate the limits of our mind in understanding these moments and concepts.

These paintings are the initial stages of my ongoing exploration of memory, thought and the limitations of our comprehension of perfection. I strive to create a picture of the ideal as it can be experienced in our world. Through this my limitations are exposed as I express these concepts through imperfect recollections and thoughts. The futility of the struggle is constant and unresolvable, yet my exploration continues.

Artist Sarah Irvin’s Website & Social Media

Article by James Day

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