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Bodies for a second, 2015
Watercolour and graphite on watercolour paper

 

There's a subtlety to Sarah Creagen's solo exhibition Tornadoes, one that creeps up on you and lingers like the impression of a dream you are barely waking up from. In a series of drawings and watercolours presented at NO FOUNDATION Gallery, her images of layered charcoal figures, soft and smudged bodies, and the almost imperceptible impressions of shadows and half erased marks begin to elucidate themselves and linger in your periphery.

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All I Thought About Was Time, 2015
Graphite on watercolour paper

What is interesting in the works is the repose and coolness conveyed by her figures in contrast to the charged and intimate forces they appear to be contending with. Whether in groups or by themselves, they seem to be quietly grappling with the stormy recesses of their interiority. The scrawling image of the tornado appears throughout many works in this exhibition- a tornado, whose violence and power extends from a larger and more ominous force of clouds above it is a fitting image that indexes the tremulous and powerful capacity of the interior, emotional self.

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Lying (detail), 2015
Watercolour and graphite on watercolour paper

In one work, Lying (2015), flecks of pale, flesh coloured ink strokes render a figure into broken-up and indeterminate flickers of light. In Bodies for a Second (2015), the form of two figures conglomerate into each other, as if in an unassuming and unrelinquishing abandon. In another work, All I Thought About was Time (2015), a single female figure drawn in graphite sits in a chair and looks down at a scrawled tornado which encompasses most of her body. It seems as if this tornado is coming from within her, and is in fact somehow, of her own making.

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Down in the Cave, 2015
Graphite on yupo paper

In her drawings, Creagen repeatedly works over the marks of each picture, removing and adding lines, shading, creating unintentional traces, and for that, the figures become traces of themselves, like a memory. In the process of making these images, there is also an unmaking- the figures change, lose parts of themselves, and are as vaporous and indeterminate as the strange nostalgia that they seem to recall. And once thrown into them, her pictures bring you to places that are vulnerable yet unyielding. It is within these personal moments of respite, with oneself and with others, that they become a point of recollection, back to experiences of personal intimacy, forlorn longing, and subtle moments we ourselves can barely recall.

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After Eight (detail), 2015
Graphite on yupo paper

Sarah Creagen's Tornadoes is open 12pm-6pm, Thursday-Sunday till August 30th at NO FOUNDATION Gallery on 1082 Queen Street West.

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