2019 program pt 2

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What are the Chances?

What are the Chances?

Sarah Edmondson

Gallery 4
Opening 04.09.19 6-8pm
Artist Talks 26.09.19 6-7pm

The principle guiding my work is the belief that chance events open up opportunities of discovery, thereby expanding the creative process beyond predictable and habitual approaches. The chance event of a glitch, an error in a structured system, has been rendered in needlepoint tapestry with wool on canvas in an attempt to stabilise its ‘intrusion’ through aesthetic re-interpretation.

Using the same image throughout this series, it began with a computer glitch of one of my works, this was then screen printed and cut into 9cm squares to provide the templates for individual tapestries. Compositionally chance changes the relationship of different components on an unconscious level and often the outcome is more interesting than a considered composition. Despite the employment of chance procedures, the selected aesthetic outcomes evoke a sense of balance and harmony with elements of shape, space, line and colour relationships. Ultimately, the original ‘disorder’ of the computer glitch is tamed through a conversation between all these aesthetic transcriptions.

In conjunction with these technical errors, the use of text from found hand-written notes has been manipulated to help expand my interpretation of chance. Reversing the immediacy of these handwritten notes the slow ‘craft’ process brings them permanence. The intended original meaning of these notes is accepted, while my own act of appropriating the brief statements is a mockery of their absurdity.

The process of needlepoint is labour intensive and contradicts the essence of chance and the glitch, each individual stitch represents a pixel from digital imagery, bringing the digital and analogue together. The hanging of this exhibition is an extension of my use of chance procedures, with the use of a random number generating application to determine position on the wall within a predetermined grid format. We are in perpetual motion in an age of digital information, quickly moving to the next image or piece of information. Perhaps the tapestry will give the viewer reason to slow down, ponder for a moment about the time taken to build up the work in contrast to the instantaneous digital breaking down of the glitch.


Chance and the unpredictable underscores Sarah Edmondson’s art practice. What might be considered a failure one moment is reinterpreted into something positive the next. Her diverse practice includes the use of happenstance of found text, unintended event of the technological glitch, printmaking processes, the use of random number generators for placement, and the laborious process of needlepoint tapestry, rethinking pixelation using the underlying grid of the canvas.

The slow process of stitching evokes a sense of the passing of time and is the antithesis of chance. Edmondson works on several bodies of work concurrently, from embossing to relief printing, screen printing and collage to needlepoint tapestry, which amplifies the idea of slippage that chance allows.

This has been explored in several group and solo exhibition, including 'According to Chance' at Galerie Pompom, Sydney (2018) which was installed with the help of a random number generator to determine positions on the wall within a predetermined grid, and 'Reminiscentia', Watt Space Gallery, Newcastle (2014) that explored the chance event of neurological disorders through the use of text and childhood photos.

Edmondson was awarded the 2018 Brunswick Street Gallery Small Works Art Prize and has been a finalist in numerous awards including Stills: National Still Life Award (2017), receiving a judges’ commendation. Her work is held in the collection of Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, among other private collections in Australia and overseas. Edmondson graduate with a Master of Fine Art from the National Art School, Sydney in 2018, and holds a Bachelor of Fine Art, from the University of Newcastle (2014).


Sarah Edmondson, According to Chance, 2018. Installation view, Galerie Pompom, Sydney. Photo:Docqment.

Sarah Edmondson, Do Not Drop, 2019, wool needlepoint tapestry on canvas, 91.5x48.5cm (framed), Photo: Ian Hobbs

Sarah Edmondson, She Said, 2019, wool, fake fur, nylon cord, and reflective fabric needlepoint tapestry on canvas, 66x66cm, Photo: Ian Hobbs.

Sarah Edmondson, Effect, wool, fake fur and nylon cord needlepoint tapestry on canvas, 66cm x 66cm. Photo: Ian Hobbs

Sarah Edmondson, But Then I am Not a Rabbit, wool and glow thread needlepoint tapestry on canvas, 34 x 34cm. Photo: Ian Hobbs

Sarah Edmondson, f2/2 Soporific, wool and reflective ribbon needlepoint tapestry on canvas, 34 x 34cm. Photo: Peter Morgan

Sarah Edmondson, a6/2 Sleepy, wool and nylon cord needlepoint tapestry on canvas, 34 x 34cm. Photo: Peter Morgan

Sarah Edmondson, a3/2 Sleepy, wool needlepoint tapestry on canvas and glow paint, 34 x 34cm. Photo: Peter Morgan