Things are never as they seem
on the outside
Outside surrounded by reflections.
Inside the scaffolding of self is entirely evident
And I am barely holding up
I am not established, ready or secure in the high winds of criticism or storms of disappointment
About Sarah Lightman
Sarah Lightman is a diary artist, comics scholar and curator.
She studied at the Slade School of Art for her BA and MFA, where she won 6 awards for her work, including the Slade Life Drawing Prize and The Slade Prize. She is currently researching a PhD on ‘Autobiography in Comics’ at the University of Glasgow. The engagement with the critical and creative contexts for her own work is evident as Lightman comments:
I am really trying to find my own artistic language within the tradition of extended graphic narrative. At the same time I am still keeping the work organic, and daily, which means that I don't plot out storylines. It feels like a delicate, even precarious balance.
The delicate pencil work of these drawings amplifies their crafted nature, and lends them a tentative quality, while the textual commentary, poetic and suggestive, allows us to mediate between objective and subjective, between the seen and the felt, perception and passion:
I think I am trying to draw each object as a person. Or perhaps as a symbol. I think that many things can really be portraits or self-portraits. Objects can have so much love, or life invested in them.
The creation of identity, and the relationship between what we own and what we know, are profoundly linked in these works, which also suggest the possibility of alternative kinds of relationship – to the past, to experienced reality, to the self:
I am aware that the person in my diaries is both me, and also someone other, but also I become the person I draw. The drawings become an alphabet of considered responses to life, and become how I think of things in the future - I drew it, thus I named it.
“In Memoriam- Diary Drawings by Sarah Lightman”
The International Journal of Comic Art, Autumn 2009
Preview by Ariel Kahn.
Ariel Kahn is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Roehampton University.