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Threads and Layers

Absolutely Alabama.
Absolutely Alabama.(Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 11:04 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Sara Garden Armstrong is an artist and a native of our state. Her creations have brought her world-wide fame. Years ago, she left for New York, but she was always connected to home.

Absolutely Alabama.
Absolutely Alabama.(Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

“I did not start out as an artist. I started in elementary education. My mother was an artist and I realized that was what I wanted. I had to head to New York. This is ‘79. I had gotten this building with someone, and I adore this place and it has really been my connection to Birmingham. Moved back in 2017, which has been absolutely wonderful.”

Absolutely Alabama.
Absolutely Alabama.(Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

Have you ever looked a piece of art that almost seemed alive? This is the story of the work of an artist whose work is as real as breathing.

Absolutely Alabama.
Absolutely Alabama.(Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

“It’s Nature based, sort of lyrical abstraction with a biomorphic connection that is really dealing with a lot of life forces, life systems. One piece, X And Y, is for me pretty much like caskets laying on the ground, not touching and breathing,” explains Sara.

Absolutely Alabama.
Absolutely Alabama.(Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

Today, she lives and creates on the second floor of the building in downtown Birmingham, which connected her to home above the Ground Flood Contemporary Gallery.

“Let me just explain. It’s not paint. It’s pigmented fiber. It’s Abaca, which is a banana leaf fiber that I’m putting with pigment and I’m pouring and staining. You only really know what the color’s going to be like after it dries, so it’s a continual chance, manipulating it and eventually solving it, so you feel like it is a good piece of work.”

Absolutely Alabama.
Absolutely Alabama.(Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

Now Sara’s new book traces her history as an artist, “It’s called Threads and Layers, and it traces my work from the very early pieces here that I did in Alabama, through New York and back around to work I’ve done here. I could see how the threads went, how it sort of layered, so for me it’s not this projector of up and down or up, up, up. It’s more of a circular, organic. It’s where your head is at that point, and it’s always connected to you personally.”

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