Sarah Stonefoot – Suspension

Image Credit: © Sarah Stonefoot

The botanical objects I have brought into the home are stopped in transformation. Their location is often questionable and their capacity for self-motivation is ambiguous. Fluent in a secret language that’s rich in mythic rawness, they crawl, branch, sprout and mimic their surroundings. Domesticated and anthropomorphized, leaves and seeds obtain a poetic vitality through their relationship to the home – a space that welcomes imaginative rediscovery.

Given my desire to experience nature firsthand, I prepare for each photograph with a sensory exploration. It is only after I have altered the botanical material, pulled it apart and stripped leaves from its stem, that I can find in nature something new, something different and something unexpected. As Pierre Mabille notes in The Mirror of the Marvelous, “Alice’s adventures in the rabbit burrow or through the mantelpiece mirror encourage us to search for other gaps where we can penetrate the marvelous.” Like Alice, I’m hoping to find my portal into reverie.

We shelter ourselves both with and from nature but we are still part of its world. Within the home sunlight serves as a constant reminder of nature’s transience. Its luminous, shimmering and prismatic effects readily trigger the thoughts and daydreams of quiet rooms. The home is an unbounded interior; within its walls one’s mind can drift and worlds can arise. Leaves, seeds and buds I use become swarms and armies descending upon furniture. They respond to and are altered by the home’s architecture and its resident. Reclaiming their space, the natural objects remind the furniture of the life it once held. With newly acquired botanical inhabitants the home transforms into a landscape. Curtains are large open skies and the seat of a chair is an open field. These invitations to reverie are most welcome in the space of the photograph – an ideal place for the construction of new worlds. – Sarah Stonefoot


7 thoughts on “Sarah Stonefoot – Suspension

  1. I like these photographs, and was drawn to them. However, after reading the artist statement I’m still a little on the confused side about what Stonefoot’s work is about. What I appreciate about the images is their, “beautiful simplicity”, is the way I’d put it. Without understanding fully the intent behind the photos, they still bring about a sense of wonder, curiosity, and enchantment. The artist plays well with light, form and shape, as well as geometrical elements. I enjoy the top image slightly more than the bottom, for its line details created by the rich wood flooring panels, the design of the cup (especially the handle), and the graphical imagery of grass sprouting up from the spilled water. These images are simple and easy on the eyes, and not hard to appreciate.

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another artist make work on this topic. The topic seems new and refreshing, and I believe this is the aim of her photographs. We build these synthetic structures around us that attempt to barricade ourselves from nature and from the elements, with only screened windows to let in sunlight and breezes now and then. If we do let nature in, it’s still contained in a pot. I love this playful intrusion of the natural world that she has created, and the possibility she has posed as the home being a portal and not just a shelter.

  3. These photos are interesting because they are both natural and unnatural. The objects are recognizable as cup, floors and sink and the lighting isn’t too dramatic. But then this intrusion of a grass like substance is an unnatural occurrence in places in the house that seem to specifically shut out nature. Hardwood floors are used to cover dirt floors and sinks are often used to wash away dirt. I like how the artist is able to combine two different subjects to make such peaceful images.

  4. The idea here is kind of like the “revenge of nature.” A house usually shields you from and blocks out nature. This is the sole purpose of a house, to protect you from the elements. To me it appears as though nature is breaking into the home in these photographs. The grass almost becomes a vicious, intrusive element in a way. It finds every way possible to enter the home. Other natural elements (water and sunlight) are present and seem to encourage and assist this act of trespassing. I feel nature is reclaiming its territory in a way. The house was not on the spot first, nature was. The house was then built on top of the grass and took over. It appears as though nature is taking back its property.

  5. It seems to like the fusion of both the wild nature with dominated nature (the house) in a majority of her photos the wild natural element is coming out of the dominated element, grass sprouting from wood floors. The wild nature is not taking over aggressively, but is slowly melding with the dominated nature, in a nearly seamless way.

  6. Sarah, your idea is simple and poignant. I hope you keep going with your idea–I feel it would work well in a large series.

  7. The simplicity of the these two images is so brilliant! The small and delicate placement of the grass in water impacts the photo in a great way. They image has little going on in it, yet so dynamic

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