by Sarah Putt
I have long been fascinated by embryos and eggs. I first started drawing them when I was working in a psychiatric hospital. The dead nestlings found in the hospital grounds, their perfect vulnerable naked forms unembellished with feather or fur seemed primal and visceral; beautiful in their ugliness. Their naked vulnerability mirrored that of the elderly people in my care.
The egg and the seed resonates as symbolic of potentiality. An incubation period, where new ideas are hidden from view, is followed by a gestation phase when the art develops, protected in a cloistered solitude, just as the embryo is itself nourished until fully formed in its protective shell.
This same imagery for a window installation seemed the perfect analogy for a fledgling project, “Issue Zero” of The Keep magazine. Within an arbour of vigorous new growth, the nestling is revealed in its egg. The new growth is rooted in a “soil” of books, cultural nourishment for the emerging art forms.
I would like my art to be an authentic response that reflects life in its entirety, as a counter to our sanitised culture where darkness is hidden from view.
To quote Banksy,
“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable”.
Sarah Putt studied Fine Art painting. She moved to Hay from London in 2007 and has exhibited extensively in the local area, being particularly well known in Hay for her window installations and her portraiture. In her self portraits, using masks and face paint, she explores themes of concealment and disclosure, identity ageing and mortality.
interview conducted by Tracy Thursfield