Investigating the life of things across space and time

Root (2013)
Tooth (2013)
Iron (2013)

Root,Tooth and Iron (2013)

Drawings of objects in my collection for So pass away the old timers, one by one by Sarah Gillett 

Root is a large root of walnut, polished and shiny across its gnarls and fingers.

It is a very tactile, organ-like object with faces and creatures in its whorls. In the exhibition it signifies the importance of wood in the survival of humans in the elements and the importance of our relationship with the earth; our roots.

Tooth is a fossilised shark tooth, representing time through the change of organic matter into mineral, into stone. Part of the landscape forever; a body in stone.

It is a reminder that the land ‘settled’ by white Europeans in the 19th century was already occupied by first nation people.

On the signing of Treaty 7 in 1877 (three years after Irishman John Glenn arrived in Calgary), the Tsuut’ina Nation was allocated a reserve adjacent to the Siksika Nation, near what is now Bassano, Alberta. After negotiating with the Federal Government for their own land, the area around Fish Creek (known as Wolf Creek to the Tsuut’ina) was selected by Tsuut’ina scouts. The scouts created a cairn of rocks on a hill overlooking the creek in order to mark the land, and in 1883 when the new reserve was established, Chief Bullhead placed a rock on the cairn and told all of his people to place their own rock. To this day, every Nation member places a rock on the cairn when they come of age. As the Nation grows, so does the cairn.

Iron is a cubic crystal of fool’s gold, or iron pyrites, excavated from marl stone. Irishman John Glenn had originally travelled to Calgary to prospect for gold. He was unsuccessful…

Gallery of Root, Tooth and Iron

Works in So pass away the old timers, one by one

Earthquake: collage of paper rocks, trees and sky

Earthquake (2013)

Accidental large scale collage created from the process of making other work: offcuts, leftovers, rejects and stencils at the end of their lives, having been printed, pressed, battered and cut into multiple times.

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Collecting: a rock creature peers out of the gloom from his ornate gilded legs


Things on the windowsill,
amongst books,
on the mantelpiece,
in a jewellery box,
on the desk,
in a wide flat bowl,
in a glass cabinet,
hanging in the studio.

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Flint nodules: photograph of a striated flint pebble with grey, orhange and cream streaks, against a black background

Flint (2017-ongoing)

Flint nodules are trace fossils; positive casts of negative spaces once filled with organic life. In this series of photographs taken in my lap on beaches in Great Britain flint pebbles become asteroids hurtling through space.

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When much had been forgotten: fragments of tapestry, collage and embroidery in the shape of statues and organic forms are scattered across a pale grey-brown linen

When much had been forgotten (2016)

The relics and ghosts of long ago are brought together here as if in a wild dream of nature. Starting from the verticals of Uccello’s trees and dotted lines he cut into the wood I wanted to present a landscape of fragments that offers a framework for a narrative.

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