Sarah Hatton, Vimy (2015)
I’m always impressed with how a talented creative person can take a concept and come up with an unexpected interpretation that enables others to understand an aspect of that concept from a dramatically different perspective. Such is the case with Sarah Hatton, a contemporary visual artist based in Chelsea, Quebec, who has developed a knack for employing non-traditional materials in service to her artistic vision.
Her “Detachment” series utilizes thousands of brass fastener pins, each originally stamped with a star on its head, salvaged from archival paper records maintained on Canadian soldiers during their WWI service and repurposes these pins to map out constellations of stars matching those that the soldiers would have seen during key battles of the time. This video from her artist site gives a nice overview of this brilliant work.
Another body of her work seeks to raise awareness about the adverse effects of pesticides on declining honeybee populations. This award-winning work incorporates dead bees into depictions of some of the natural geometric patterns found in the flora pollinated by these indispensable but threatened creatures. Wow!
Sarah Hatton, Circle 1 (2013)
Hatton is also an accomplished painter. Her artist site showcases several series of imaginative paintings that reflect her curiosity about the natural world and individual mortality. I especially like her “Fathom” series, which seems to play with ideas about the vulnerability and comfort that we feel with watery environments.
Sarah Hatton, Fathom 3 (2014)
I encourage you to view more of Hatton’s excellent work at her artist site here as well as the several galleries that represent her, such as Ottawa’s Galerie St- Laurent-Hill or the James Baird Gallery in Pouch Cove, NL.
(Image Credits: Sarah Hatton)
What a talented woman! I applaud her efforts to make people aware of the plight of bees. We have noticed the lack of bees in the last couple of years. No fruit on our trees this year. It’s a very serious situation and it’s good that she is drawing attention to it. But what a creative mind she has in all her artwork. I admire that kind of talent.
Yes, isn’t her art wonderful! 🙂
My grandfather was in France in the Canadian army in World War I. I have a copy of his full military record, photocopied before the digitization process. I am so grateful that she did this work with the fasteners and that you shared that work with us.
Elizabeth, that’s wonderful to hear about your grandfather.
I wish I could articulate how much “Detachment” and the story behind it have moved me, but I can’t. What immediately came to mind was Wilfred Owen’s poem, “Dulce et Decorum Est,” which recreates the experience of a soldier in the trenches under a gas attack. The poem conveys the unimaginable horror of trench warfare through its physicality, a man drowning in his own blood as his lungs dissolve. “Detachment” conveys that same horror and enormity of WWI by taking the opposite approach of making it cosmic. Thanks so much for sharing Sarah Hatton’s work with us.
Liz, that’s quite a connection you’ve made. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Owen’s poem as well as Hatton’s work.
Wow, simply stunning on all aspects. I look at her talents and can’t help wanting to know more about her story. I believe that sometimes talent and creativity is brought on or perhaps discovered through adversity when it becomes an outlet and a form of expression. Thank you for sharing…
Wonderful thoughts. 🙂
Thank you, that’s at least what happened for me and I’m grateful for it. We always have the choice to embrace adversity or let it define us. I choose the first.