Sarah Wolf Newlands’ work in Everyday Futility: Adapting Form to New Uses explores the manifold utility and context of objects— broken objects, objects of value, and objects that are no longer useful. Utilizing porcelain figurines both thrifted and selected from her family’s collection, Wolf Newlands creates primitive yet delicate constructions. The role of the decorative object shifts away from its original function and solicits conversations about representation, abstraction, material language, and perceived value.
The work emerged from a spectacle that took place May 2015 at Surplus Space, in which Sarah Wolf Newlands competed against five other artists to win a solo exhibition at composition gallery in Portland, Oregon. Open Call, a project by Amanda Leigh Evans, mixed the form of a sports tryout, juried application process, and reality TV show by inviting artists to compete in a series of challenges in front of a live audience. Events included: make 3 works of art (15 min), write a 100 word artist statement (5 min), publicly exhibit your work online (5 min), and give a formal artist presentation on the work (3 min). The project was guest curated by Roz Crews in Over and Back.