Sarah Peters’s solo show, So, Below at the B10 Gallery, was a dark landscape that displays the precariousness of our own private inner worlds. Peters often works in-process according to the space she is given, which leads to each exhibition, each project, and each idea being vastly different from the last. Her work is able to shift according to the space it is dwelling in, where it haunts. So, Below feels like a haunt, grimey. Her consistent use of color, black, green and pink, allow her work to have consistency and connection, even if the connection is not explicit. In B10 Gallery, Peters was able to collect objects and display them in crevices in such a way that one wrong move by the maker would allow the entire piece to collapse. Each object was spray painted black, allowing them to seep into the darkly lit space, while having carefully considered colored lightbulbs highlighting certain vignettes. The rest is obliterated into the void, into the black room. The spray paint allows the objects to be removed from their inherent meaning, but yet, they still hold a history. The objects are real but they have had their objectivity removed through means of a covering.
What does removal and precariousness say about ourselves? We question the origin for these objects, what history do they hold? When the viewer looks even closer, they realize that some of the objects are, in fact, exposed electric cords that are powering the lightbulbs. The objects are being suspended with these power cords, which creates an anxious viewing of the piece. Peters is exposing the power of unveiling our histories and secrets by allowing her carefully strung power cords roam free. It also is a caution to be careful because, again, one wrong move unravels the entire piece.
The work in So,Below asks the viewer to dig deep into the psyche and spend time in contemplation, often in darkness. Since the viewer walks in as if they just have stumbled upon this black room, it creates a dynamic between viewer and object in what it seems like an almost fateful event. Peters has mastered the balance of power, control and precariousness in this show and the lights will guide the viewer through the dungeon of their thoughts.
Sarah Peters is a multidisciplinary artist interested in transforming meaning and function of mundane everyday objects through formal choices that intend to invoke beauty, narrative and imagination. Through intentional placement and thoughtful composition; discarded objects evolve from their abandoned existence to ambiguous objects and landscapes. The artist intentionally uses material that is free and easily accessible from the homes and work spaces of herself, and her community.
Sarah Peters currently lives in Portland, Oregon where she is a MFA Candidate in Visual Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art. She has exhibited as an artist and worked as an educator, art gallery co-director & curator, and photographer in Germany, and the US.