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Sarah West

Booth Number: 452

Homewood, AL

Artist Statement
My work references both Early Renaissance paintings and digital technology through highly-saturated and detailed hybrids of painting styles. The religious narratives combined with digital symbols and artifacts of digital processes suggest the spiritual undercurrents surrounding digital technology in its potential for enlightenment, transcendence, and evoking a sense of the infinite. Echoing this perennial quest, I position my viewer as an explorer and navigator roaming through various types of spaces coexisting within one composition, addressing the potential for fluidity between the concrete and the ineffable. Cyberspace with its endless data banks has become, in the words of Lyotard, “ ‘nature’ for postmodern man.” This digital scenery has become so integrated into my life that I feel it is important to examine critically, attempting to understand and consider the cognitive and perceptual results. Instead of using a digital medium to talk about this experience I incorporate the historicity of oil on canvas or panel to enforce the tension between new and old present in my subject matter.

The work points to the persistence of our desire to be transported by visual means and explores ways the spiritual realm has been represented in the past and today. The resulting paintings evoke a divine encounter, reflecting on both the religious subject matter referenced in Renaissance sources and the mystical aura surrounding new technologies.