Sarah Arriagada’s colorful, mixed media works exude a light, playful quality as she brings everyday materials into collisions that create new and surprising sensations; textures and scales are disrupted as patterned cloth morphs into slickly glazed ceramic, while collaged hard surfaces become design prototypes for soft, hand knotted rugs.
Drawing on her interest in domesticity in a world of constant change and migration, Arriagada combines found wallpapers and textiles with painting, drawing and collage to produce works that explore places of comfort, intimacy and regeneration and that question the common hierarchy determining what is precious or banal, fine art or decoration. The social space of the home is reworked and reframed to invoke the tensions and interactions between the private domestic sphere and the public arena for her as a woman artist and mother.
Taking the everyday as her starting point Arriagada works directly onto thin wood veneer, patched canvas or flimsy fabrics such as gingham, establishing a grid or patterned ground against which organic shapes flourish in naïve, expressive strokes. Arriagada’s actions seem both tentative and bold, awkward and assured as she builds up layers of collage and print or reverses a canvas and reworks it. The resulting works with their fluid, dynamic surfaces invite active looking and open up intimate and elusive spaces, rich in color, texture and nostalgic association.