Layered beneath commercial and acrylic paints, mixed-media artist Anne Sargent processes her style, as “figurative abstractions that are non-narrative, personal, but not autobiographical”.
“My art is not a statement of intellectual substance, but rather on an emotional response. It’s about humanity, it’s about people”.
Working with commercial black paint and artisan oils, Sargent centers her attention to contrasted elements in her minimalist designs. “What draws me to the work is that it’s not specific, but represents every person—the figures are symbolic for everyone. The figures evolve as they connect with each other—reflecting on my step-by-step reaction of the canvas”.
Sargent recounts her spontaneous artistic exploration as a “discovery of the senses and directing where the painting goes emotionally—finding a balance between reflection and restraint”. What she calls an “emotional stumble”, transforms while blending wet commercial paint with oil undercoats, “the two extreme and opposite paint textures draw on my contrasts of minimalist, non-decorative design”.
What many viewers may believe is narrative while processing her paintings, is actually “a stand-in for something bigger”.
“While I focus primarily on male figures, I don’t want sexuality to be an issue. I don’t want beauty to be an issue. These topics are not relevant to my expression or how the figures should be talking to the audience. My work draws on subconscious emotions—a window into empathy. They are universal—they are not about me and my emotions.”
Sargent’s journey has been about finding her vocabulary in Vancouver’s art scene. Weaving through personal responses to everyday elements, she finds a progression towards a liberated truth. “Sometimes it’s easy, or clear, and it just happens. I feel like you eventually just let go and accept what’s driving you”.
Continuing to develop her artistic signature, Sargent drives her next body of works along the same pathway of minimalist and figurative design. She hopes to continue exhibiting with smaller pop-up galleries, or artist-run alternatives, because it’s a good “beginning stage” for her. While she recognizes that “galleries will always have their place, because they have guidance—the ArtsALLYs of the world are going to take a big bite out of the local art scene. It’s all about finding balance.”
See more of Sargent’s art at artsally.com/anne-sargent.