La Sobremesa, 2022
La Sobremesa is a research project in which Sarah focuses on the habits surrounding Dutch and Spanish food culture. Instead of just looking at recipes and traditions, Sarah shifts her attention to the utensils involved with a focus on the napkin. She wonders about the function of this disposable item and what we can learn about the human relationship to food, but also about our routines shaped by culture. The tactile and material qualities of a napkin allow her to playfully ask these questions from a sculptural point of view, capturing in the form the interaction between user and object. Without actually using one, do our hands remember how we used to fold a napkin? What can a napkin tell us about someone's culture and how our cultural background is influenced by our gestures? Can everyday objects become culture carriers?
During a residency at Witte Rook in Breda, a city unknown to Sarah, she spent a lot of time on her own, which allowed themes of the influence of space, the consequence of placement, the weight of importance and the sense of 'home' to surface naturally. Her longstanding fascination with the napkin, with an emphasis on the traditional Spanish napkin pulled from a metal napkin holder while eating, provided the foundation for this working period. The artist translated the different perspectives visually using media such as performance, sculpture, writing, photography, film, collections and soundscapes. Placing them together in a space created new connections and possible directions for dialogue and sharing experiences.
With La Sobremesa, Sarah tried to find a way to immortalise the napkin and embrace the nostalgia of this object. In retrospect, the napkin has been a catalyst for her personal questions about existence itself. Where do I really feel at home? It is a recurring questioning of belongingness, of relating to the given or chosen space and unconsciously performed actions.


Financially supported by Stichting KLEIO, in collaboration with Stedelijk Museum Breda and artist-in-residency Witte Rook.
Read the interview by Puck Kroon about my residency here
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