Sandra Taylor: True Stories
Presenting new and existing works by significant Australian artist Sandra Taylor.
We are all full of stories, but what story does our life really tell.
Within this work are personal stories interwoven with the stories of others, familiar and not so familiar. Stories of humanity, culture and nature. Story within story, symbol within symbol. The events of our lives may be different, but human emotions are the same the world over. Our underlying needs and wants may not be too dissimilar either. Perhaps you may recognize yourself within these pages.
Certain themes run through the work, but essentially it seems to be about the traps we find ourselves in. Sometimes we are lucky enough to find a way out. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we don’t even know we are in a trap. Sometimes we may see a way out, but certain habits have developed in the trap that give us a sense of security and so we stay. It may be bad, but outside may be worse. Life has a way of getting us to face ourselves eventually. We know we live in a toxic world, but if we look deeply enough we may be shocked to find that our own vanity holds the real poison. Yet close by also lies our wise and selfless heart and I hope this good heart can also be seen in the work.
Earlier concerns revolved very much around place. Inspiration for the suburban works of the seventies began with the houses in and around the streets where I lived. Later the bush, with its overwhelming power of presence, became home.
Here urban thinking didn’t get you too far. The bush was alive and demanding. I had to wait for it to start trickling into my blood before I could respond with any sort of understanding, limited though it was. The bush has a way of enfolding you and slowly I began to truly feel it.
These days the importance of place seems to be dissolving somewhat, giving way to something more raw and direct.the signal to start often comes from a need to understand a situation I’m struggling with in life. An urge arises. It’s a bit like the need to scratch oneself. As I make contact with the surface of the work, there is a release. The beginning of an adventure. It’s tactile and gratifying. There’s an immediate response. Marks appear. It’s magic. There is no plan, I’m just feeling my way in and trusting in the process. But once I’m committed to the journey, it will have its way with me. No matter in which direction I set out, sooner of later the sea of confusion and madness has to be crossed. A lost and inadequate raft, feeling its way in the dark, looking for a light to lead it through.
So that’s what I do and how I do it. The work arises out of itself, out of the all absorbing experience of the making. I guess I’m trying to peel back the layers, looking for an essence, searching for a truth.
Sandra Taylor 9 July 2017
Image credit: Sandra Taylor Glorious home, fabulous pool