Friday, February 22, 2013

artist biography, cause i know you care

Sarah Danforth  makes ceramic sculptures, installations, and mixed media artworks. By creating small scenese that aim to break the passivity of the spectator, Danforth tries to develop forms that do not follow logical criteria, but are based only on subjective associations and formal parallels, which incite the viewer to make new personal associations.

Her sculptures are based on formal associations which open a unique poetic vein. Multi-layered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned. By choosing mainly formal solutions, she wants the viewer to become part of the art as a kind of added component. Art is entertainment: to be able to touch the work, as well as to interact with the work is important.

Her collected, altered and own works are being confronted as aesthetically resilient, thematically interrelated material for memory and projection. The possible seems true and the truth exists, but it has many faces, as Hanna Arendt cites from Franz Kafka. By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, she absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation.
Her works are based on inspiring situations: visions that reflect a sensation of indisputability and serene contemplation, combined with subtle details of odd or fantastical, almost humoristic elements. Sarah Danforth currently lives and works in Asheville.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

the secret of invisibility

Once, I had a superpower

a story by sarah danforth

You might think its better to be able to fly, better to be able to leap tall building with a single...but let me tell you how I saved my life by becoming invisible.

Thirteen years, ago, in the largest city in the Amazon, and we were fresh back from a jungle expedition.  Raul and Guido, our guides, had take me out for dinner and dancing with their wives, children, cousins.  A big happy group of peruvians and we were dancing at a nightclub.

The military came, the Peruvian military, and some men were watching all the girls dancing on the floor.  And the details are hard to remember now--its the achilles heel to invisibility, that stories become a fog, sharp moments dull to protect--but our group was approached by some soldiers who said they were having a private party that they would like me to attend.  This was not an invitation.

And so I remember getting into the jeep, and Raul and Guido standing there, and their wives getting the children home, away.  And I remember the wind blowing my hair in the black black night as the jeep took us away from the city, out into the jungle, to the military compound.

And it must have been an officer's house, because it was a house, not a big army tent like the multitudes of tents around it.  I remember going inside the house with the soldiers, and the few other women.  They were prostitutes, I have always assumed by their makeup/clothes, and we entered the large living room together.  There were a few couches, and I saw the alcohol, and the cocaine, and all the men in uniform, and the few other women, and I realized how much I wanted to survive this without being raped, without being raped to shreds and left to die. And so my wanting to live became my superpower, and I became invisible.

How, you ask?  And I wish I knew, but I am here alive and unscathed, at least from that night, and it is because I willed myself invisible.  No one could see me, I decided, and I waited against a wall for awhile, and I went into the kitchen, and I waited.  Waited in my cloak of invisibility because that night could have been the end but I wasn't going to let it be.

And I want you to know, that this is the truth and this is what I survived.  It wasn't just the invisibility that saved me, of course--Raul ended up showing up on his motorbike and knocked on that back door, and we crept through that military compound pushing his bike until we were probably a half mile away before he would get it started. Turn on the light, speed away, back to the hostel with my sleeping friend.

What became my superpower was a will to live combined with dumb luck that transformed me into not being seen, which equaled escape.  Invisibility doesn't always work like that.  It will not magically appear for shoplifting from the yuppie food store, as my record can attest to.  And i have wanted to live through many things that have still tore me up and scarred me.

I have been thinking about that night lately because I have been remembering that feeling of wanting to live. It was the most powerful and potent I have ever felt, and I wish it didn't take a house full of soldiers to make me choose life so clearly.  Was invisibility the superpower?  Or was it the hope for tomorrow?  The wanting to just keep going that saved me from all the sketchy situations I have ever been in?

I want it back.  Not the fear, not the invisibility. I want the desire for a future back.  I want to want it so bad that the magic happens.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

running with the bulls

do you want to know what my horoscope says?
For a couple years now you've been plugging away steadily at a creative project (this could also involve a child-related matter or your romantic life) and it has probably seemed as if every two steps forward earned you at least one step backward. Believe it or not, you're about to find out that the Universe had a very good reason for putting you through this insanely thorough testing process. When the restraints come off in the next few weeks, you're going to see your project leap forward in ways you've only been able to dream about. So it's more important than ever this week to make sure you know what you want out of all this. Under Saturn's tutelage, you've learned that you have both the talent and self-discipline needed to succeed."

go bulls!
don't mess with the bulls, you're gonna get the horns.

what does it all mean? it means that i have been building the lightbox, making the flowers, experimenting with firing the wire in the porcelain to make the movable figures, scrubbing the studio floor, and getting ready to make a movie. apparently the planets and stars have been taking notice and aligning to encourage my success.

i'm hoping that the movie will be around a minute and a half. i'm not comfortable with feature-length, not yet.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

have you been here once
did you need that ladder
i wasn't there

did you know that how
we get the making materials
is with china and trucks

and so it is said
that flowers doth bloom
out of foam at last

over and out.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

new work update

spoiler alert on danforth's new work:

no rabbits.

but lots of trees, and little dots that make lines, or diamond shapes.

and gold teeth, and maybe some rocket ships.

one princess dentata.

lots of little ceramic flowers. and hopefully lots and lots more, even. they take time, though, and i give them away too often.

here is what to do with a ceramic flower:

place several around a favorite work of art, like an accent, or to bring out the colors. this painting is by alli good and she is one of my favorite artists.

there is a light flickering out there. i keep meaning to walk towards it.

til next time. boca raton needs a tip drill.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This Is Where The Magic Happens

This is the tiny light-filled room that I work in since finishing my residency at the Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts. I think it measures to be 8 x 8, enough space for someone whose work is rarely bigger than what can be held in one's hand. Of course, I am sometimes envious of the long, large work tables in the studios of my friends, but I am grateful for the wall of window, the soft winter sunset, and the fact that all I have to do is walk upstairs to get to work or check on how a piece is drying.

Its 30 days from today that I will set up my show at Eclipse Salon in downtown Asheville.

Here is what I have been working on:

I am feeling inspired by faberge eggs and Faberge birds.

little trees.

and so it goes. over and out.