Currents, Tendencies: Sarah Sutterfield

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Dots & Dashes Artist Statement

From Jon Horvath's exhibition at the Haggerty Museum of Art, I was most inspired by his connection to his father through Morse code. The theme of dialogue and how the system operates in succeeding, or failing is something I was especially interested in attempting to convey within my own piece. The absurdity of the imagery that draws the audience in, and the code or the majority of the population is unable to connect with is what breaks down the dialogue and is always an interesting concept to employ. In Morse code, the word is arranged vertically not horizontally how society typically views text. That also lends to the ambiguity of the code. The code and the imagery have a strong dialogue, which the audience is unaware of without the knowledge of Morse code, but that creates an interesting scenario for the observer to create their own interpretation of the relationship between the code and image. When riddles or irony enters a person’s life, most people overthink the answer, though the answer is usually simple. The same is true for Dots and Dashes. The audience is invited to create connections and theories, but the original interpretation is blatant and ready to be decoded. 

Statement of Intent

Photography has been a rewarding medium to interact with thus far in my artistic career. I have extensively studied photography for three years and was accepted into MIAD with a portfolio containing mostly photographs. Although I have studied photography, working with new artists and gaining new insights is always a rewarding experience. Jon Horvath’s style of photography in the CTIII exhibit, especially Ambulance Lights on Neighbors House, has a distinct contemporary vibe that correlates in my mind to Gregory Crewdson’s photography. The photograph’s surreal colors are interesting but the context of the photograph when added to the composition lends an eerie feel. I hope to work with Mr. Horvath and learn how to add layers of humor to my photographs to expand my portfolio. Attempting to create or obtain a different reaction from the audience would be a new challenge that I have not thoroughly explored in my photography. 

Thank you for your consideration, 

Sarah Sutterfield

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