+FORM Immersive Photography Installation at 33 Arts

Opening: 15 May 2021, 11:00 - 16:00

15 May 2021

Regular hours

Sat, 15 May
11:00 – 16:00

Free admission

Sara Downing

Santa Rosa
California, United States


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+FORM part II -Immersive Photo Sculpture Spring Event


+FORM part II -Immersive Photo Sculpture Spring Event

  • Saturday, May 15, 2021
  • 11:00 AM  4:00 PM
  • 33 ARTS Building (map)

Sara Downing’s +FORM series continues with part two! Join us for a spring day out with food trucks, live music, and approximately 15 arts and craft vendors! Safely support some of our favorite local artists, and walk through Sara’s immersive sculpture in the transformed lobby at 33 Arts.

+FORM: The first series of ideas came to me in the fall of 2018 when I started a design and install project for a commercial client, and realized that project contained the beginnings of something much bigger and more rewarding than I ever could have imagined  when I started my full time artistic practice in early 2018.

Combining my love of photography, building things with my hands and constantly exploring new technology and unfamiliar materials is the essence of this endeavor. 

This initial piece, the first in a series of new photographic sculptures offers a distinct way of experiencing the photographic image and hopefully allows each viewer to think about the photographic medium a little differently. The felt process (part of which you are seeing in the photo above) is made possible by state-of-the-art printing on a specially coated Belgian linen to retain maximum quality and depth of the photograph. Once the image is printed, it is essentially sandwiched between varying layers and thickness of sheeps’ wool. It is first needle felted and tacked by hand to achieve desired results. Details are added, and lastly the full panel is run through a large factory-style felting machine with a geared I-beam teeming with hundreds of needles moving up and down repeatedly through the artwork which bind the wool layers and the linen together firmly.

I’m not very big on explaining my work’s personal meaning as I prefer to let the work speak to each viewer uniquely, however I will say that my efforts here involve the visual and physical deconstructing of buildings printed on smooth material and are in direct contrast with the trees embedded in the wool panels. This small Coral Bark Maple tree in my backyard provides a full winter of extreme, almost unnatural colors and during the pandemic it seemingly begged for my attention. I took several photos of this single tree and constructed new and unique trees from the various images.  Deconstruct, construct. Smooth + manmade vs. rough + organic. I  adore contrasts in our world, and I keep highlighting them because I think it’s important to fully recognize that contrasts are essential for our human understanding of things. There is no joy without grief, no reference for smooth without rough. The fullness of our life must include all manner of contrasting phenomenon.


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