Review: Sara Meehan at The Ballroom Gallery
Sara Meehan is a deeply introspective artist whose development should be watched. Her March exhibit at The Ballroom gallery was her second in Brattleboro. Two of the oil paintings included had been shown previously at Mocha Joe's Cafe. They are a full-figure painting of a girl in a field making loose reference to "Christina's World," painted by Andrew Wyeth in 1948, and a large study of moist rocks.
New work in the March show seemed to have a deeper sense of drama or suspense and of symbolism or social significance. Quiet moments in nature seem to signify great events in the past or the future. A small pencil drawing pictures an open field confronted by an impenetrable forest. The drawing hand in this and another graphite work on paper is light and whimsical. The second small drawing is of a tree split at birth into independent trunks. They are separate but inescapably tied together. Is it a relationship of soul mates? Or the two Biblical sons of Abraham from whose ancient dispute the world now reels?
Three small, square canvases hung in a vertical row are simply the
blending of blue and black: the approach of night in the sky. The ever so
slow transition between the three creates a feeling of suspense, as if
this approaching night is symbolic of some larger event or the actual
psychological state of waiting -- waiting for the unknown which is known
only in the darkness.
A small, untitled oil painting shows a softly rendered but cratered moon falling from an evening sky to a darkened earth. The fading light shows a landscape of lakes or moors and hills. The moon, symbol of woman, the mover of tides and the female side of our consciousness, leaves a wispy tail in its wake. A small lake picks up the last glow of evening. The moon is about to collide with the earth. Why is it falling? What would life be like without our island of light in the darkness of deep space which envelops us?
Sara Meehan's paintings are quiet, gentle and knowledgeably rendered while exuding a deep sense of romantic suspense or, perhaps, social foreboding. Her studio is here in Brattleboro, and they say she paints every day.
Copyright 2003, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont