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Artist Statement – Sarah Gagnon

The City Underneath the City

As I walked along the sidewalks of my city I noticed hundreds of unique manhole-covers and grates. I found beauty in things that most people just walk by. These simple discs of metal are portals to a complex infrastructure of connected pipes beneath the city. In my work, this became a representation of the complexity of the human infrastructure of the urban environment.

I rendered this solid and industrial inspiration into smooth synthetic and silky fibers. I blended real images with traditional embroidery methods to create a new medium.

Daily Walks

A few years later I continued this series I was still interested I manhole covers and other street access points, but the context I was noticing them in had changed from downtown city streets to small neighborhood walks. The material culture of the American neighborhood is manicured with concrete sidewalks, turf and curbs. It noticeably contrasts less efficient and orderly cultures around the world. These pieces are a place to reflect on the design of the American neighborhood, both physically but also the places beneath that – the social and communal.

This series is rendered on more homey and natural fibers, including wool, linen, cotton ticking as well as antique linens.  I continued to use photographic transfers mixed in with the embroidery. My embroidery methods included free form lines along with traditional techniques, including tufting, weaving, couching, and beading.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING ONE OF THESE PIECES CONTACT ME FOR PRICE AND AVAILABILITY.

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