Recordings of the House, series of photographs
A selection of photographs from the bank of images that I constituted by photographing the house.
The inhabitants, video, 5 min
A video which organizes into a slideshow all the representations of faces and animals found at different scales and on different supports, in my images of the house.
The signs, video, 2:30 min
A composition with writings materials and numbers found in the pictures, creating an enigmatic message.
The project takes as a starting point the sale of my grandmother’s house in Burgundy. It had not been lived in for 18 years and I previously knew little about it. I felt it was important to construct a bank of images, to keep a trace of the house and its contents. This photographic material became a kind of pixeled house through which I could move by zooming in - in search of meanings, personal attachments and connections to my artistic practice. This investigation has led to a set of works that create an encounter between the different distances for looking at this digital and emotional space.
I photographed my grandmother’s canvases, which are still hanging on the walls. They are tapestries to be reproduced on a grid and she used models and coloured cotton, which my father often gave her. Her embroidery work was in fact a work of reproduction. In my turn, I reproduced images by photographing her embroideries. When I zoom in on my shots, I observe, spread out on the canvas, her thread stitches applied one by one, square-shaped, which meet my pixels, a grid of coloured stitches.
On her embroideries, the cross stitches create a drawing on a grid. They look like low-definition images viewed on an old computer. When she was embroidering, the image appeared very slowly, like a photograph immersed in the developer bath.
Who does embroidery? Who photographs? In the stereotype, the embroiderer and the photographer are not the same genders. The photographer shoots. And the embroiderer waits, embroidery occupies her time, her hands.
Embroidery is a discreet work of ornamentation for the fabric, originally - applying elegant little details on everyday objects. But on the walls of my grandmother’s house, the embroideries are framed, like works of art. Van Gogh’s sunflowers, a bucolic scene from Fragonard, the laborious tapestry of The Lady and the Unicorn, a still-life. She made them when she was alone and happy to be alone. She was waiting for no one. She was the one who would fix the stitches on a grid during long evenings, absorbed in a work of art.
And I wrap her thousands of stitches, in the blink of an eye.
Sara Tremblay is a French artist who works with the media of photography, video and text. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art in 2018, at the National Art School of Lyon (ENSBA), followed by a Master’s in photography at Sint Lukas School of Art in Brussels where she obtained her diploma with honours in 2020.
Sara’s work focuses on the processes of perception and observation. Using the photographic image as a starting point, she dissects it and reconstructs it and in doing so questions this medium and its processes. From there, this experimental, reflective practice of photography leads her into the fields of video, sculpture and writing.
Observations at different scales are interwoven in her works where miniature environments are constructed and images are meticulously explored. Her physical interventions, through a hand or a voice, and her reflections on her personal history, reveals her ambivalent presence as an artist, inside and outside the frame.
Through the production of sculptured-images and experiences of observation, Sara builds a reflective, sculptural and poetic practice. She produces simple gestures that deploy personal narratives and reconstruct the spaces she is looking at, inviting the spectator to follow her in this process.