Sarah Entwistle

Artist and architect Sarah Entwistle traces her familial history and reimagines failure as possibility in the exhibition, “The knots of tender love are firmly tied” at Galerie Barbara Thumm Berlin through August 28.

Fascinated with the malleable nature of materials, and the architectural historical practice of spolia-the appropriation of materials into new forms as a potent counter force to inherited personal and cultural determinism, her broader project is a continued dialogue and dismantling of the archive of her late grandfather and fellow architect, Clive Entwistle [1916-1976], whom she never met. This vast collection of unrealized designs and personal papers revealed Clive to be a mercurial and complex figure whose cardinal points of ‘Architecture, Spiritually, Intellect and Sex’ laid bare his conflation of sex and esoteric pursuits with his professional practice. The segues of her grandfather’s life have wound deep into a trans-generational haunting addressed through her practice as she continues to filter and digest, on a number of levels, the archive contents. Raking it for resonant motifs, imagery, materials and forms. Repurposing both original material and intellectual content into a visual and formal language. Addressing this material has become a means for evaluating her own identity as an architect, artist and woman. Developing objects within sculptural still lives that incorporate singular elements such as large-scale hand-woven tapestries, found and refashioned metal off cuts, ceramic objects and works on paper that often recall domestic furnishings and quotidian objects. The expressive handmade singularity of each element renders them counter to the reproducible and purposeful prototypes of high design. This process of transmutation attempts a form of creative and cultural exorcism, and a reckoning with a highly personal history.

Sarah Entwistle trained as an architect, at The Bartlett, UCL and Architectural Association, London. In 2019 she received the main prize for Mostyn21, Mostyn Gallery and in 2017 was the recipient of the Artists’ International Development Fund, Arts Council England. In 2014 she received the Foundation Le Corbusier Grant for Visual Artists and in 2015 presented a solo exhibition, “He was my father and I an atom, destined to grow into him,” at the Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris. The exhibition coincided with the publication of her experimental biography, Please send this book to my mother, Sternberg Press, 2015, published with the support of The Graham foundation for the advanced studies in fine art, Chicago.