Sarah Fairchild, Flowering Tree (Buckeye), 2023, Acrylic, silkscreen, collage, metallic foils and nylon flocking on paper mounted on panel, 45 x 35 in.

October 24 – December 14, 2023
Artist Reception: Tuesday, October 24, 5-7pm

Sarah Fairchild: Anima Mundi

Contemporary Art Matters is delighted to present a solo exhibition of new works by Sarah Fairchild. The title of the show, Anima Mundi, defined as the soul of the world, is explained in many ways across many different ancient philosophies referring to the existence of a world soul, a spirit inside nature, and the intrinsic connection between all living things. Indeed, Fairchild brings an intense study of her natural surroundings into her work, imbuing it with an artificial brightness and fashioning with layers of material and process. The individual works celebrate elements of the forest that are often overlooked, but whose value to the environment is crucial. The exhibition will be on view October 24 through December 14, 2023 and an artist reception will be held on Tuesday, October 24, 5-7 pm.

In the exhibition

“I hope to convey a small portion of Anima Mundi through my work. I am interested in what is not shown, the space between, what is unseen, even unknowable, yet deeply felt.” As an artist deeply concerned about our environment, Fairchild creates and represents natural forms through a synthetic lens. Plants are portals that connect us to people, place and memory, across time and space. Each variety of plant is keenly studied over time and captured in photos. The chosen images are often low-caste forms of weeds and wildflowers, dignified by being noticed, and the fauna that depend upon their existence.

“I have always been deeply inspired by fashion and design. I am connecting the world of landscape to the world of design and fashion through the use of luxe surfaces, artificially gilded metallics, vivid phosphorescent color, and obsessive detail, creating an insectarium that depicts the interconnection of species, the fragility of our ecosystems, and a reverence for nature and all of its inhabitants.”

Fairchild’s process is extremely long and labor intensive. “My art making routine becomes a form of meditation, an intuitive structure I thrive in and depend upon. Through the exploration of materials and mark making, I have created my own techniques that defy standard practice.” Beginning with drawing on paper, paint is added to fill out the form. Once the images are set, she masks the surface with layers to protect it while layer upon layer of various techniques are employed, including: silkscreen, metallic foils and paint. This lengthy and reflective process melding the natural world with fantastic artificial elements designed to bring out the aura or Anima Mundi of the forms.

Phlox and Fritillaries is an example of the flowering species whose sweet smells lure butterflies to its splendor. Fairchild’s Angelica is a monumental presence, underscoring the plant’s value and appreciation for its summer blooms and historical herbal uses. The metallic elements reflect light and the flocking adds texture to the vibrant surface. Fairchild captures the essence of the flora and brings it into a gilded, rarified space for celebration and contemplation. For her focus does call to mind the changing climate and all of the mundane symbols we take for granted. “I hope to arouse a sense of wonder, appreciation, and concern for fragility of the environment, as well as the urgent need for a sustainable living.”

Sarah Fairchild is a mixed media artist living in Jersey City, NJ, and working in Long Island City, NY. She received her BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, OH. Sarah has exhibited widely in both solo and group exhibitions at Contemporary Art Matters, Columbus, OH, Keyes Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY, and Hammond Harkins Gallery, Columbus, OH. Special projects include Bloom, a temporary large-scale sculpture inside the lobby of One Liberty Plaza, New York, NY, an interior and exterior mixed media presentation, Floribunda, at Pierrepont Plaza, Brooklyn, NY, and the vinyl installation, Cruciferous, inside the Grace Building Lobby in New York City, NY and the set and prop design for Opera Columbus’ production of Lully’s Armide. Her works have been included in various publications including New American Painting, International Painting Annual, Studio Visit Magazine and Creative Quarterly. Works by Sarah are owned by numerous collections including The State Palace of the Hubei Province, China, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH, and Brassica Restaurants, Columbus, OH. Sarah has also received the Community Arts Partnership Purchase Award from the Greater Columbus Arts Council.