Sarah Hoemberg takes advantage of the viewer’s urge to select and discover, using subtle, basic tricks to spark attention. The paintings and sculptures are not seductive in a blatantly visual way.

In her paintings, the colours are undersaturated, the contrast is low, and nothing is too considered or overstated. Every unique form hovers in close proximity with other shapes, which are similarly idiosyncratic. Sarah has wryly expressed her respect and trust of the viewer’s ability to “make their own choices”. She applauds us as intelligent and refuses to direct us in an obvious fashion. The viewer may consume the paintings at their own pace, combining shapes according to personal taste and inventiveness. The experience of the composition is interactive – imaginary compositions occur, particular to each viewer, by capriciously selecting “favourite shapes”.

Recently, some sculptures have fallen out of her painting and express a parallel dimension of her pick-and-choose attitude. Here, the tease becomes even more explicit and absurd. She wraps random objects in craft paper, with the odd thing sealed in a zip-lock bag. Sarah zooms in on the ridiculous side of human curiosity. What’s in there? Can I look? Can I touch? The sculptures look very plain when compared to a shiny Christmas present in their homely brown wrapping, I still want to look. Even among a poverty of visual stimulation I am still looking. I’ve just been duped into looking by Sarah! It’s ok though, no hard feelings.

Originally from Victoria, Sarah Hoemberg is currently in her 4th year of the visual arts program at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design with a primary focus in painting and more recently in sculpture. Her work investigates the potential and transformative quality of art objects.