games


In order to instruct myself in the construction of an abstract painting, I turned to a long-favourite subject and theme, the classic game boards – chess, backgammon, pachisi and others. This exploration took me from 2010 to 2014.


      Ludus Scriptorum             ©Sarah Petite               2010           encaustic on wood            14" x 23"                     $1000 Cdn

It’s arguable that, before we even made art – forty millennia ago when we were hunter-gatherers – we played games. A field of lines scratched on the floor of the cave, some pebbles, a friendly adversary, and our own wit, and we have the beginnings of a long tradition. Any complete team of archeologists will have an expert on games, who can look at a pretty artifact, with its counters and unusual dice lying beside it in a tomb hoard (without the instructions!), decipher the play, and fit this long lost cousin into a genealogy of the games of history.

(from an artist's statement, 2014)

Chausar            ©Sarah Petite       2012          encaustic on wood               24" x 24"               $1800 Cdn

Games - ‘parlour games’, street games, the game of life, and recently, game theory, the domain of mathematicians, economists and psychologists - gives me unending and expanding metaphors to express in my art. I’ve even found that the working out of an abstract painting begins to feel like playing chess against myself – unless I want to call the encaustic paint my worthy opponent. One mark of the brush or the scraper (or the knife, the chisel, the heat gun) is like a knight’s fork, or the stealthy swipe of the bishop. With each move, the painting becomes more complex, more resolved, more balanced. Some of my paintings mimic their prototypes so closely you could almost take them down from the wall and play on them. Others are more oblique – game-theoretical, you might say! As the artist, in one way or another I’ve played them all.

(from an artist's statement, 2014)

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