Potpourri: Sarah Cale

The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.
Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe
Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby. Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds.
They are subtle: they seem to float, though they weigh me down, Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color,
A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck.

From “Tulips” by Sylvia Plath

Sarah Cale: Potpourri

The work in this exhibition is made over a one-year period of upheaval in five different studios. Paintings are made of recycled packaging, reused dried paint flecks chipped from dead surfaces and oil paint built up in an oozing history.

They are potpourri, sitting in a pretty dish as an illusion of what was. Masking the wet scent of dampness.
They were made amidst mildew and spiders and dust.
Smells, both real and deceptive, fake perfumes, slipping in and out of worlds.

Organic saccharine, visual rot, a hallucination.
These paintings self-consciously go down a wormhole of a still life, a jumping off point into a wide gulf. Where chunks of ceramics, lace and petals are reformed in strange and musty molds.

Potpourri is a drug that can give you a seizure. A weird and confusing incense.
Where purple smoke swirls in a clutter in your mind until it is broken down and recomposed.

These paintings move backwards in time trying to find a myth
To attach themselves to.
They suppress their doubt in their obsessive construction, yet cling nervously to the language they are born from.

Sarah Cale is an artist from New Brunswick, Canada. Her work has been shown in solo exhibitions at The Varley Art Gallery (2016), Kitchener Waterloo Gallery (2015), Jessica Bradley Gallery (2015) and Southern Alberta Art Gallery (2014). She was recently included in the exhibition Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Cale currently lives in Brussels, Belgium and teaches at La Cambre.