Artist Statement: Sabra Booth

Artist Statement

It is not the slumber of reason that engenders monsters, but vigilant and insomniac rationality”
― Gilles Deleuze
, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

My work delves into how humans interact with the remnants of the natural world. Like early Western naturalists, I often sketch and paint flora and fauna on site. Sketching helps me to connect with the subject. Later, I use the drawings as touchstones for my ideas. Whether in Texas or in Europe, place often affects my direction. In Finland, I observed weird winters with sparse snowfall and in South Texas, burgeoning abnormal male butterfly populations. Both experiences led to several bodies of work. I like to create more on a project basis than piece by piece. Animations, artist’s books, prints, and installations are common approaches I have taken. The materials I work with are often intrinsic to the content of the project. For instance, my artist book, Slick, is printed on rubber gaskets used in petroleum refineries. Sometimes, I pursue avenues outside institutional art venues such as a community center in Grand Isle, Louisiana, where I spoke with shrimp boaters and refinery workers. Aesthetically speaking, there is a lush awkwardness to my work. Metaphors relative to isolation, otherness, underpin many of my ideas. In a sense, nature has become one gigantic “other”. My work poses inferences and possibilities about this interaction between us, the humans, and them, everything else. I am also intrigued with that moment of hybridism, when the barrier between them and us breaks down. …when our animal instincts and urges surface. Satire enters some work with ironic juxtapositions of populist modern iconography, especially from the 1950’s/60’s. My studio is a Boschian theater stage, populated by a cast of shady plants, mutant crustaceans, and amorous microbes. These characters are skipping or stumbling on a journey to survive in a dystopic world. Ultimately, my work is an anthropological endeavor, examining and reflecting on this human quandary relative to our environment.