17.06.09 — 01.08.09 ‘In Place: New Collage Works’, Sarah Bridgland

The question of scale is always to the fore in Sarah Bridgland’s work, meticulously constructed from cut elements of printed paper. Invariably described as ‘diminutive’ or ‘intricate’, its physical smallness, however, belies the scope of both its visual impact and its imaginative embrace. Bridgland’s constructions and collages, for all their lightness and delicacy, are redolent with a formal strength that speaks of her printmaker’s sense of balance and precision, and a compositional sturdiness which permits them to bear a far greater weight of association than their physical slightness might suggest.

With the most graceful and nuanced of touches and juxtapositions, Bridgland captures a complex combination of the optimism and melancholia characteristic of the mid-20th century world from which much of her found ephemera originates and in which much of her own printed and drawn material finds its inspiration. The objects she makes, though, are not nostalgic, speaking only of the atmospheres and memories of that moment; rather, through the deftness and decisiveness with which Bridgland manipulates them, they address its legacy in the dreams, hopes and disillusionments of our own.