Sarah Arriagada’s colourful, 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 love of domestic interiors, Arriagada combines found wallpapers and textiles with painting, drawing and collage to produce works that explore the boundaries between fine art and decoration, ‘taste’ and kitsch, the precious and the banal.
The social space of the home, implied by found cloths and patterned papers, is reworked and reframed to invoke the tensions and interactions between the private domestic sphere and the public arena.
Taking the everyday as her starting point Arriagada works directly onto wood veneer, canvas or flimsy fabrics such as gingham, allowing elements of chance to shape the outcome until she arrives at a point of visual clarity. She repeatedly applies and scrapes back layers of paint to establish 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, blocks out and then exposes the tacky floral print onto which thick colour fields have been applied. The resulting works with their fluid, dynamic surfaces invite active looking and open up intimate and elusive spaces, rich in colour, texture and nostalgic association.