Tonight was the formal unveiling of Sarah Emerson’s gigantic mural in the atrium at MOCA. There is nothing shy about this work, entitled Black Sea of Trees, part of her Underland series.
Sarah is known for her grand scale murals, but this one tops her previous efforts. Sarah filled the atrium’s 70’ x 40’ surface with wonderful color and forms, but also with a message.
The space is so large that I had to use this preliminary sketch so that an overall scope of the work could be visualized – and this still isn’t the whole image. She often creates stylized landscapes, such at this atrium piece. This one is designed to create a view of standing at the edge of the wilderness or chasm, safe and sound from what lies ahead. Safe and sound from what we do not see. Sarah told Sunnie that nature is really laughing at us, knowing that in the end that it is she who will survive and we will have disappeared, after doing our best to overpower nature.
Sarah also had several of her other works on display, that evoke a similar response.
Much of the inspiration for her work comes from nature’s torment, like the Gulf oil spill or the tsunami in Japan. Nature and humanity, trying to coexist.