Sarah Detweiler: mOTHER
A solo exhibition by Sarah Detweiler, presented by Paradigm Gallery.
April 23 – May 22, 2021
Paradigm Gallery is pleased to present mOTHER, a solo exhibition by figurative painter Sarah Detweiler. mOTHER features 12 new vibrantly haunting works from Detweiler’s ongoing series, Hidden Mother, which adeptly subverts the portrait form and instead, focuses on a woman’s self-imposed perceptions and expectations that a mother attaches to their identity. Her evocative paintings use concealment as a way to reveal deeper truths. mOTHER marks Detweiler’s first solo exhibition at Paradigm Gallery and will be on view* from April 23 – May 22, 2021 with a virtual opening on Friday, April 23 at 5:30PM, RSVP is required:
The Hidden Mother series was inspired by a trend in Victorian portrait photography in which mothers concealed themselves in fabric while they held their children still for long exposure photographs. Detweiler’s images remove the children, showing only the women covered and posed alone within each frame. In this way, they are both hyper visible and hidden. While the artist used herself as the model for previous works, her new collection turns her gaze toward other women, thus expanding the view of motherhood as both a connective thread and as an experience that is unique to each individual.
Though the series has been ongoing since January 2020, mOTHER marks the first body of works where Detweiler collaboratively created the pieces with her subjects. Detweiler worked closely with her subjects to best tell their stories, intuitively translating their experiences and feelings onto the canvas. By personalizing her paintings to her subjects’ stories, their life experiences shine through the patterns and colors of the work, even as their faces are obscured. Though Detweiler knows her subjects personally, in maintaining the anonymity of her subjects, she preserves a universal relatability — the woman under the shroud could be you, your mother, your friend.
The paintings in mOTHER include hand-stitched embroidered elements that add texture and dimension, while alluding to a craftwork traditionally associated with femininity. The stitching is often only noticeable upon closer inspection, reinforcing the significance of that which is hidden in plain sight. The resulting images in this exhibition are deep, vibrant, and fantastical. They express their subjects’ ambivalence, acceptance, and embrace towards their changing roles as mothers, all while celebrating the true multiplicity of their identities.
Detweiler opens the conversation around transformation and identity, honoring each woman’s existence beyond motherhood. Her powerful images are both eerie and whimsical, cathartic and hopeful. Though the subjects are hidden on a superficial level, the coverage actually allows the artist to see more deeply, revealing them in new and beautiful light.
*Due to COVID-19, ”mOTHER” will be open for regular weekend hours with limited capacity and is available to view by private appointments during the week until further notice. The digital exhibition twin is available on https://www.paradigmarts.org/ for viewing from home.
These policies are dependent on the current policies of the CDC, WHO and the Governor and Mayor’s offices. Paradigm Gallery’s number one priority is the safety and wellness of their visitors. For live updates on the exhibition and appointments, please visit the Paradigm website and socials. For any questions on Paradigm’s current policies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Sarah Detweiler
Sarah Detweiler is a Philadelphia area-based, mixed media painter. Her experiences as a woman and mother are explored through figurative narratives created with a combination of embroidery with oil, acrylic, gouache, and watercolor.
Sarah has a BFA from the University of Delaware in Visual Communications and a Masters in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited in group and solo shows in various locations including New York City, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Chester County, PA and Philadelphia. Sarah has been featured by The Jealous Curator, Create Magazine, Making Art Films, and Thrive Art Studio. Her work has been published in Uppercase Magazine and Create Magazine.
Sarah’s art centers around themes of fertility, motherhood, female empowerment, and the human experience.
About Paradigm Gallery
Paradigm Gallery + Studio® was established in 2010 by co-founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston. The gallery exhibits meaningful, process-intense contemporary artwork from around the world. Now open 11 years, Paradigm Gallery is globally recognized and known as a tastemaker within their greater Philadelphia arts community. As the gallery grows, it maintains its original mission to keep art accessible. Through monthly donations, free public art installations, and initiatives like Insider Picks, Paradigm Gallery, continues to be a champion of small businesses and emerging and mid-career artists.
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