Sarah Dawson is a textiles artist based in Dublin. She was born in Dublin 1964 and spent her first eleven years there until her family moved to the countryside in Tipperary. She did Fine Art Sculpture in Limerick College of Art and Design and then did an Art Craft and Design Teaching Diploma there also. She completed a City and Guilds Design with Craft (Embroidery) Level 3 certificate in 2007.
Sarah is currently working with the rest of the Filament members on The Mill project. She was intrigued by the atmosphere of the Mill inside and out when she first visited. The solidity of the structure itself, dominant and heavy on the landscape, the dark mysterious decaying spaces on the ground floor, clay covered tools, the huge sharp-edged steel cogs, the open light filled wooden spaces on the upper levels, cracks, openings, mellow hand made windows, disintegrating bird skeleton, the mill wheel, the river, everywhere she looked there was a starting point.
She began by using the photographs she had taken on the first visit and collaged them to brainstorm, almost like a mind map, in my sketchbook. She used these photographs as source for drawings. Connecting to the various aspects and qualities of the Mill helped her to identify that her main interest lay in the power behind the running of the mill, the water of the Kings River.
This Mill and others like it along the banks would not have existed were it not for this powerful running engine that was harnessed to move the enormous outdoor wooden slatted wheel which in turn initiated the movement of the cogs and grinding stones.
Walking the banks of the river she observed its various characteristics ranging from the still calm gurgling waters to the raging torrents as it squeezes through the sluice gate and leaps downward like a waterfall. Its qualities of colour, texture and form and its inherent power mystifies her and lures her in to explore further. The contrast between the solidity and fixed position of the cogs and the fluidity and freedom of the water drew in her attention.
She has used drawings, photographs, hand stitch on layers of fabric and tracing paper, wire and spray paints. She is particularly enjoying the challenging of capturing the energy and vitality of the water. She is using other phoptgraphs she has taken of water to help with this visual enquiry. She enjoys working in black and white for the drawings as this simplifies and isolates the structure and shapes she sees.
She has begun machine stitching using the drawing as my guide and also wrapping thing gauge wire with white cotton to begin the process of creating three dimensional forms or forms that might emerge from the stitched drawings.
Her work is also informed by a growing awareness of the huge effect our choice of words has on how we relate to one another and thus how we create the world we live in. This theme has emerged from her interest and practice in Non-violent Communication, Mindfulness and Nature Connection. She is interested in creating work that is an authentic expression of her personal journey. She is also constantly inspired by the sheer beauty of the natural world and by her developing relationship with it.
Sarah uses her notebooks to record the visual and verbal influences and ideas that arise on a daily basis. Combining photography, textiles, natural materials, threads, wire, plastic clays and the written word she creates 2D and 3D pieces that reflect her themes and her interest in texture and form.
2012 “The Mill Project”, Filament, R.D.S. Dublin.
2011 “Filament” Exhibition at the Dublin K & S Show
2011 “Latitudes” Airfield , Dundrum, Dublin.
2010 “Uncommon Threads” Samhlaiocht Gallery, Tralee, Co. Kerry
2010 “Uncommon Threads” Graffon Gallery, Castle Espie, Co. Down
2009 “Filament” Exhibition at the Dublin K & S Show
2008 “Filament” Exhibition at the Dublin K & S Show
2007 City and Guilds graduation exhibition at the K & S Show
2007 Six door sized batiks commissioned by Architect Michael Rice, Portlaois.