Conceptual artist Sarah Misselbrook
Welcome to the website of artist Sarah Misselbrook. Misselbrook’s multi-media practice attempts to address issues surrounding gender, feminism, the female ‘body as canvas’ and ‘consumer’. The artist is fascinated by individual control, consumption and the resulting environmental effects. Obsessive and routine acts of measuring, perfecting, breaking and healing envelops both her creative process whilst commenting on the disciplined but futile quest for an unattainable ‘perfection’. The use of chocolate, soap, latex, soil and wax, degradable or edible materials, present the artist’s obsession with the seductive yet repellent nature of anatomy. The juxtaposition of hard against soft, light against dark, sensual against skeletal has become Misselbrook’s visual language of a struggle within and of an all-consuming body. The artist’s BA degree show in 2000 presented ‘Followed’, a skeletal vertebrae cast in white chocolate morphed into a pair of cupped hands as though waiting for absolution. ‘Monthly’, documenting the artist shaving her head and ‘Pure’, the artist’s torso cast in soap, routinely washed away in exhibition. In 2004, ‘1m2’, a cast of the artist’s body was produced in response to a call for entries which limited the work to a metre in any direction. The work is strapped into a steel cage and spikes aggressively defend it. This work has since been exhibited in an underground medieval vault, the Southampton City Art Gallery and The Crypt in St. Pancras Church. In 2006, a solo exhibition at the Bargate Monument gallery presented ‘Misplaced’, depicting the artist in a steel cage, her elongated arms ending in knife and fork attachments, and ‘Self Conscious’, a looped video showing the meticulous self-policing of the artist’s face. Misselbrook’s Masters degree show in 2011 included a large scale sculptural installation and recorded performances conveying educational, religious and submissive acts in quests for ‘perfection’. This structured behaviour and performance is providing a new dimension for the artist. It is opening up her practice and interrupting controlled processes and displays, with obsessive acts of repetition in casting resulting in breakages and accidents. Misselbrook’s more recent sculptural installation and performance works are inspired by her total immersion in the natural environment with ongoing research into the balance of life and death, transience and fragility.