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Sally Noall / Onlookers

21 May 2008 Gallery Srečišče, Hostel Celica.

Before I have used surface as truly flat, using the surface as only a surface with minimal creation of depth, the series I am working on now act slightly differently in that they have areas of realism formed by light and shadow and areas of flat colour and pattern in contrast. These works vary in size from smaller pieces that would fit into your hand to larger and more complex works, and are rendered in maybe a more sensitive manner through a change in material. This latest series use graphite for the rendering of the figures alongside areas of colour and wash in watercolour and foodstuffs. The use of fluid foodstuffs provide colour, texture and sheen as similar to traditional painting materials, but the use of food, aswell as alluding to human condition, social roles and rituals of food preparation, provide an unstable surface that can change and decompose in time. From a necessary, enjoyable and sometimes social connotation the foodstuffs become smears, unwanted marks, unpleasant smudges and blotches that tarnish and deconstruct the clean surface of the paper. There is something within us that can accept these same marks in another maybe more painterly material, but that rejects in someway the notion of marks made with food.

There is a fine balance between portraying the mundane and producing a work that is in itself mundane, so areas of colour and pattern serve to confuse the original image, to create contrast of idea, intention and visual affect within the same work in order to produce a work of different layers, of different focuses conflicting yet balanced areas.

The interest and inspiration for these works came from an interest in the moments of daily life when we find ourselves simply watching, looking maybe to observe a situation or maybe simply gazing in boredom at the television or into space. These works find the figures in the imagery blankly looking, maybe back at the viewer themselves, maybe to a point outside the edge of the image they are captured inside, some are aware of the viewer whilst others are not.

The images taken from low quality, softcore porn and glamour poses were in attempt to reverse the idea of “watching” into “onlookers”, the act of seeing and perceiving. Where recent images focus on depictions of watching and looking, I wished these image to reverse that, to put the spectator into a possibly uncomfortable position of observing, through the depiction of the images themselves and their material treatment, The use of foodstuffs brings to these images another quality, something unclean, and by their very nature are less easy to focus upon requiring the spectator take maybe a little more time to find within these marks the image itself. The girls in the pictures adopt poses for the viewer, they are mindful of being watched and seen, whilst depending on the viewer to give them purpose in their actions.

Sally Noall

finished her studies at Falmouth College of Arts/university College Falmouth in 2008 after completing a Masters Degree in Contemporary Visual Arts. Recipient of the Dennis Mitchell Sculpture Award 2006, and the Midas Project Graduate Award 2007, Sally has participated in shows and events across the UK.

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