Field – Sarah Kernohan

The following images are of Sarah Kernohan’s exhibition Field which ran from October 27 to November 17, 2012.

View of Untitled (Serac)

View of Untitled (Study for a terminal moraine) and Untitled (Névé)


Interview with Sarah Kernohan

Line Gallery:  Your work at times has hovered between drawing and painting, but seems to have settled into mainly drawing at this point. Why do you think drawing is a practice that interests you?

Sarah Kernohan: Drawing has been central to my practice from the very beginning, and when I hover into the territory of painting I am using colour to enhance the drawing. When I paint I use highly diluted watercolours and thinned oil paints. My investment in drawing is based on my interest in line, which in my opinion is central to drawing. I am interested in working on paper, using drawing media as well – pens, pencils – and using paints as flat media.


LG: Your process of developing a drawing is quite involved. Can you speak about your approach and process when making a drawing?

SK: When I set out to make a drawing – for some reason, I can’t start off by saying that I am going to make a drawing of that object. I stall by doing studies – generally in the dozens – generally fast sketches that take about anywhere between 5 minutes and an hour to complete. I do these to get a sense of what I am working with, but also to determine what I am gravitating toward. All of the objects that I work with have unique surfaces and texture, which can be overwhelming at first. This helps to narrow my focus.

I take these drawings, and sometimes photocopy them and rip them up, looking to see what forms line up – and how I can abstract the object that I am working with. Because I am rarely looking at my subject matter from a single perspective point, I am able to look at how different parts of an object have an influence on an adjacent area. I then take these collages that are usually between 5 and 7 layers deep, and dismantle them, transferring this information to my drawing surface. This process usually takes the most time – and I find it quite relaxing. This is where I start to see where the accumulation of detail has taken place, and how element overlap.

In the case of the drawings that were presented in Field, I was drawn to the extremely weathered surfaces of the shells that I was working with. – They also reminded me of images that I had seen of glaciers from above. I was also attracted to the underside of the shells, which were smooth and polished. I wanted to develop a one-to-one – looking at how the forms on the underbelly influenced the surface detail – so I approached the drawing twice – once from underneath, and once again from the top. To obscure the bottom layer, I coated it with a thin layer of gesso, then drew directly over top of it.

I use different thicknesses of line to finish the drawings – establishing different spatial relationships. Occasionally I use watercolour to highlight low-lying areas, to push those features back in space.



Sarah Kernohan Artist Talk & Reception

On October 27, 2012 Line Gallery hosted Sarah Kernohan’s artist talk in the afternoon and her reception that evening.

Sarah Kernohan speaking at Line Gallery

Sarah Kernohan's reception with Untitled (Study for a terminal moraine) and Untitled (Névé) in the background.