Sarah Misselbrook artist

Upon Reflection 2020: Sarah Misselbrook— Art and Practice in Isolation

Sarah MisselbrookThe year is 2020
It has been a time to pause
A time to reflect
Time is a strange concept
Time to focus
On what?
On what matters
On matter
Material
Body
Health
The planet, us.

Disturbed by the perpetual consumption of it all
Perhaps self-consumption was the only solution I could find at that time
20 years, veinte años, vint anys...
Consuming one’s self, ridding oneself of the fleshy, fatty, messiness of life
Taking up less and less space in this world
Unsustainable
living and working in and of the moment does not allow this space for reflection Time to reflect
and Upon Reflection
I see it so clearly now
To pause
the gift of time to learn
from oneself and others.

I took time, to allow my body to flow in the current of time
to ask questions of myself and my work
To reflect on this body of work, on my body, inscribed
Asking questions
Questions are part of the journey
Towards something other
Only knowing what NOT to do
Unplugging from you
The system, the prescription
Disconnecting from you
in order to reconnect
To rediscover
Searching for an other.

Isolated now
Off-grid
Rurality
Locality
Sustainability
Gaining a close, physical connection
To the smaller
but the far greater
ants, birds, spiders
Spin your web around me
Envelope me with your silk.

My body is matter and function
input and output
fuel and energy
Composting my human waste
I create new life
My roots
your trunk
my stem
your branches
my leaves
Grounded
rooted
I am you
You are me
We are each other.

My hands, mis manos, mis mans.

This is where I am living and working
in the space between
Between the messiness of life
In an attempt to make some sort of artistic order
From the chaos
The division
The sameness
The dissenting voices
Assenting themselves
Into something other.

Isolation, full of insecurity
But a knowing
Fact
Play my part
My role
Myself
isolated from my loved ones
Longing
Long, drawn out days
Shortening now
I am here
With you
Without you
Full of hope and energy
Coolness in my blood flows for the future
Days of darkness
We will get through this.

This is a journey
We embark on together
Your thoughts are part of this process
Your reactions to accessing these words, these images
The book
The book is now an object to consume
It is tangible, real and long lasting
Unlike the transient works which degrade over time
They rot, breakdown and age
However, now the book holds them tight, safely enveloping the works within its spine, in its covering of the leaves, the pages, the thoughts
Which are fleeting
Moments of life and death
Now embodied within a visual and textual journey of practice
of mistakes
of offerings
apologies
of atonement.

Together. Self, us.
Here, connecting.

Come with me on this journey
we are here
apart but
together
my thoughts and processes are now yours
togetherness
to simultaneously consume and digest
Become full
of book, body, chapters, organs, spine, skeleton, pages, muscles, words, flesh, images, skin
An object created
For you
To consume
To fill your belly
To flesh you out
To satisfy your appetite
For restoration
I hope.

Conceptual artist Sarah Misselbrook

Southampton, UK born Misselbrook’s multi-media practice has spanned 20 years, addressing issues surrounding the body as canvas and consumer in response to societal expectations placed upon it. Misselbrook now resides and works in an isolated olive finca near the village of Riba-roja d’Ebre, Catalunya.

The artist is fascinated by individual control, consumption and the resulting environmental effects. Obsessive and routine acts of measuring, perfecting, breaking and healing envelops both her creative process whilst commenting on the disciplined but futile quest for an unattainable ‘perfection’.

The use of chocolate, soap, latex, soil and wax, degradable or edible materials, present the artist’s obsession with the seductive yet repellent nature of anatomy. The juxtaposition of hard against soft, light against dark, sensual against skeletal has become Misselbrook’s visual language of a struggle within and of an all-consuming body.

Misselbrook’s art includes a large-scale wall-based work in rural Catalunya entitled ‘Protection’, inspired by the protection of the Catalan language by women; a large scale installation in NLCS Jeju, South Korea taking inspiration from the volcanic island and traditional calligraphy and incorporating community performances and body printing; and a sculptural installation and performance in the Maials forest of Catalunya, which was devastated by forest fire in 2019.

Sarah Misselbrook

Upon Reflection 2020

The artist’s new book ‘Upon Reflection 2020’ is a reflective process looking back over 20 years of multidisciplinary practice. The book presents observational sketches, photography of processes and performances to camera, gallery-based exhibitions, site-specific sculptural installations and the written word. From clinical spaces to burnt forest environment, the visual journey through the publication shows a migration from on to off-grid existence and a closeness to the cycle of life and death.

“As collaborator, responder, reader, witness, interpreter, critic, or an ‘other’, when you enter into a dialogue with the artwork, medium and media, senses and matter, the narrative laid out by the artist is no longer only ‘hers’ but ‘ours’. As the words and images in this book pierce your heart there is no discernible difference between the two, the work becomes something else in the encounter with it. A new event in the dialogue between forest, self, I and ‘other’, creation and destruction.”

Maija Liepins (Foreword author, CAS artists).

The book is available to purchase by following this link sarahmisselbrook.com/upon- reflection-2020/

Independent retailer October Books are the sole stockist for UK orders with international orders available directly from the artist.

October Books is hosting a free online zoom book launch event on Thursday 3rd December at 19h (GMT). Register your interest by getting your free ticket, instructions to join will be emailed shortly afterwards. eventbrite.co.uk/e/livestream- upon-reflection-2020-by-sarah-misselbrook-tickets-127358319161

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