Sarah Heuninck is a contemporary painter currently working in Detroit, Michigan. She received her BFA from the University of Lethbridge, Alberta in 2013, and is currently an MFA candidate at Wayne State University with an expected graduation date in 2023. Through experimental painting and material investigation, her work explores themes of temporality, transformation, and humanity’s relationship to nature. Her current body of work uses fragments of materials including brick, asphalt and glass sourced from local shorelines in Detroit. Recent exhibitions of her work include the Art in the Legislature exhibit at the Anderson House Office Building in Lansing, Michigan and the Annual Scholarship Exhibition at the Detroit Artists Market.
My painting practice explores ideas of transformation, ecological changes and processes, and the nature and behaviors of materials found in our environments. I work with diluted powder pigments, pouring them over canvas to create a layering of ambiguous forms dusted with sediment. Some of these pigments I make from locally sourced materials that have washed up on the shorelines of Detroit, including bricks, asphalt, soil and glass. By intentionally weathering and crushing these materials I am investigating their temporality and mimicking the sorts of deterioration that were already at play in nature.
I am interested in humanity’s relationship to the Earth, the materials we have introduced into our environments, and the dichotomy between the natural and the manufactured worlds. One world impacts the other and the two collide, meld and respond to one another. In this nature I approach my work, dancing a line between control and chance, where I am allowing the materials to act freely and deciding when and where to respond or interrupt them. The imagery that results bounces between the micro and the macro, and is resemblant of sublime landscapes, environmental erosion, and the metamorphosis of worlds.