SARAH DILLON

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ULRASOUND SERIES JOURNAL:  

 

The project began during the first trimester of pregnancy, when I would drag myself to the studio after a full day of work feeling tired and ill. It was hard to get past how I was feeling, and I quickly realized I couldn’t ignore it and continue to work through my normal studio practice in that condition. I was limited to non-toxic materials, and I was too tired to stretch canvases.

 

Curiosity began to set in. In the studio, I focused on the physical, ephemeral and the form. What was this thing that was growing inside of me making me so sick? I commenced by visually creating the turbulent sensation and uncertainty as well as illness I was feeling before I had actually seen a real ultrasound of our child. I began to work abstractly on paper. The earlier pieces were quite thick, drippy, textured and expressive, somewhat representative of what I thought an early ultrasound might look like, and I suppose somewhat representative of the undigested food in my stomach that was about to come up.

 

It is intriguing to recognize how the work became increasingly figurative and somewhat representational over time as reality simultaneously began to sink in that I was to be a parent, particularly once I had seen an actual ultrasound of our little girl. That turbulent sensation was taking on meaning.

 

As I moved into the second trimester, I began developing this concept on a larger scale, working creatively, but directly from the ultrasound imagery and focusing on the formal qualities of the life developing inside of me. I was conscious to maintain the undercurrent of gestural abstraction that developed through the uncertainty of the earlier series. The drawings include multiple translucent layers and depend heavily on the interaction of media to create energy and texture as well as variety in mark making.

 

Moving into the third trimester, the larger drawings continued to evolve, and so did my understanding of the form. Time progresses and I easily recognize the growth of the baby in the imagery; it’s sleeping, growing and moving inside of me. The baby kicks, the baby rolls, the baby moves into a head-down position in preparation for birth. All of these moments of development subconsciously emerge, visually documented through the creative process.

 

Portfolio is available for purchase