Sara Job's exhibition currently showing at Jersey Arts Centre, which was officially opened this evening by Deputy Anne Pryke, arises from six months as artist in residence at the Hollies Day Care Centre, commissioned by the Arts in Health Care Trust. The exhibition explores themes of identity, anxiety and memory, and the artist clearly approached her residency and exhibition with great care, flair and sensitivity.
The identity theme arose from life studies which enabled artist and 'clients' to forge an initial relationship.
Sara used the making of Guatemalan Worry Dolls to explore anxiety (dating back to Mayan amulets, the tradition is of telling your worries to a doll and then placing it under your pillow while you sleep, so that the doll will take your worries from you.) Some of the dolls that they made she painted on canvas and these are exhibited in the gallery under brightly coloured pillows, alongside pencil drawings of the dolls - stripped of their colours, these dolls seem to communicate the worries confided to them.
The exploration of memory is conjured through stacks of small cardboard boxes, some of which contain objects to recall memories (such as Jersey wonders, a wedding ring, a boxing glove, bicycle clips); some boxes are empty, some tied shut, some contain shredded paper - a simple but poignant evocation of the toll that age takes on memory and yet how intrinsic memories are in the telling of a life.
This was the first such artist's residency supported by the Jersey Arts in Health Care Trust, but the value is threefold - in the benefit derived by the clients interacting with the artist (some of whom were at the opening), the development of the artist's own work in perhaps new and unexpected directions, but also how the memories and the experiences synthesise in the work to give us, the exhibition audience, an insight into the lives of others and our own shared humanity.