SARA MALTMAN

…the smallest thing can be a great subject…’ (Henri Cartier-Bresson)

"We take many things for granted in our lives and it is easy to miss the complexity of so much that exists in the world. All living things deserve consideration, but this is not always apparent until they are gone.

 

The processes that I use are time-consuming, sometimes requiring hundreds of hours to complete a large-scale piece of work. This protracted engagement with materials and techniques is an absorbing and contemplative experience. The work is a process of transformation. Precise arrangements of graphite or paint are pushed, pulled, coaxed, layered, erased and worked deep into the fabric of the paper until they acquire zoomorphic qualities. Tiny moments of irreversible change take place on a very small scale.

The finished piece is an elaborate construction, a two-dimensional representation, and is presented as such. I do not think that a drawing or a painting can ever really do justice to life or to the original experience

which prompted the work. It just slows things down for a while and offers the opportunity to look.

As the work progresses, I wonder what the future holds for the creatures that I depict. Every detail invites recognition of their unique qualities, becomes a plea for their survival and initiates a small protest against

relentless incursions into the natural world."