Scott Sawtell Paintings


Scott Sawtell

The work in the series I am presenting is about mortality.  More specifically, it is about being in the space where we are aware that everything will end, but that life always continues.

There were several events that brought me to this work.  Personally, I am now a father and a son.  I have two young children and ageing parents.  This makes me feel simultaneously fragile (since I am depended upon) and bonded within the stronger history of my bloodline.  I see the correlation between my personal circumstance and also a general anxiety about the environmental future of the Earth.

The paintings are purposefully uncanny.  The animals might be sleeping or they might be waking.  They might be alive or they might be dead.  The flowers might be growth or funereal flowers placed upon them.  The animals could be metaphors for people, or they might just be animals.  My goal is for them to exist in no particular space which allows the viewer to place them wherever they imagine.

I purposely choose animals which I find highly relatable to humans, and animals that hold majestic symbolic authority.  Personally, each animal is symbolic of people that I have mourned and will likely mourn, although I doubt this autographical meaning is transferable to the viewer.  They are titans humbled by time.  Sadly, many of these animals are endangered and even those which aren’t may be soon.

Much of artmaking is an attempt to offer some permanence to life, and I have thought about that while making this work.  The creatures in these paintings are consistently in situ.  They are representations of life, but are equally merely symbolic.  Ultimately and most importantly, I see these paintings as hopeful.  The one bond which links every living being together is our fragility, and that is undeniably glorious.

Throooom. Oil on canvas. 5 x 3 ft. 2015 I imagined a bridge long enough to cross. Oil on canvas. 4 x 6 ft. 2015 Home. Oil on canvas. 4 x 4 ft. 2015 Blink and you'll miss it. Oil on Canvas. 5 x 5 ft. 2015

oil on canvas 76x102 cm 2015