On his blog, Starehouse, Daniel A. Brown interviews artist Sarah Emerson, whose work he compare to British poet Gerard Manley Hopkins’s gift of “traversing what he called the “outscape” and “inscape” of being, celebrating the natural world around him while traveling deep into the shifting lands of his own interior terrain . . . in a world of shadow taunting light, where faith and direction are swallowed up like sunlight hitting the moon.” It’s a good interview.
“When the eighties suburban sprawl was just beginning, the thing that I remembered about a lot of the neighborhoods we lived in was that they were always in the midst of another phase that was being developed. So you could ride your bike to the edge of a neighborhood and there would be these streets to nowhere. And they were still wooded, so there would be these crazy cul-de-sacs that went nowhere and were just really wild.”
“…the idea that people have been absorbed by the landscape or eaten up by the landscape is a big part of my work. I always thought of a landscape as sort of being figurative anyway; I mean it’s metaphoric in many ways and the animals had always represented sort of human behavior when I used to put a lot of animals in them. But now they’re kind of barren, it’s like they have eaten the people.”
“There is an aspect of the spiritual in my work to a degree and I’m very interested in Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” the fall of Satan and those kinds of stories that really speak to this idea of the loss of innocence and what that means. But I really relate that back to nature and I guess I would use nature and spirituality in similar ways, because nature is (…) we kind of understand it but at any moment we can experience something like an earthquake (…) I mean, shit, in Florida the earth is swallowing people.”