Intonations of Art

FATVillage debuts Sara Garden Armstrong’s Modulative Retrospective

FATVillage is a community of artists and techies with inclusive studios, co-work spaces, graphic arts, advertising, public relations firms, film production studios and restaurants. Think of a place where living, working, and playing is a dynamic nucleus of discovery that continually grows and advances with the times.

The grit and raw esthetic of the historic warehouses provide the backdrop for emerging and renowned artists’ collectives mounted in the Projects Space and FAR Gallery that has an outreach of regional, national, and international visitors to its doors every year.

Founder of Fort Lauderdale’s FATVillage district, Doug McCraw, describes the cultural heritage of the neighborhood indigenous and “of the place” that distinguishes them as a brand development leader in the creation of design art-tech-food communities.

With curricular art forums, installations, ArtWalks, pop-ups, and events, FATVillage welcomes eximious artist Sara Garden Armstrong’s THREADS and LAYERS curated by Paul Barrett. 

 Armstrong’s works hone in on specific behaviors among the natural world, bodily functions and the built environment that allows iterative disciplines and materials. Art and science have been a part of Armstrong’s vocabulary, and still, what remains throughout the embodiment of her collective, is an intimately open exchange between artist and viewer that’s an unwritten narrative left up to interpretation. Between the verbal and the visual, they communicate something that remains unexpected in the listener’s ears.

“On all accounts, I use sound, as I would paint. The space, the maneuver of movement through the form of the space, the color and shapes determine the auditory”, expresses Armstrong. The correlation between biota and the technological aspect of her works purvey the dualities of mechanization and natural process of both the exterior and interior landscapes.

Sara goes on to say, “The morphology of how I turn an idea into an object is both cognitive and organic.”The use of the technological application as Armstrong describes, “Is there for a reason, not an end in itself.”

An example of this can be referenced in the sculpture she created for the Multiple Sclerosis Society at the University of Alabama in Birmingham Medical Center, where programmable LED lights were used to demonstrate neurons.

This led to more work with LEDs and the piece in the exhibition, Marking Landscape 6. Technology became part of the materiality utilized as painted brushstrokes. The light is all white light, and the skins show how we’re different and indistinguishable at the same time.

Among aesthetics, circuitry and rhythmic sensation, Armstrong’s compilations propel the frictional conscience of these physical and emotional orientations that seek to amplify new capacities. Hybridizing her artistic impetus, paper is Armstrong’s strong suit due to its malleability and the vicissitudes of insights chosen to foster unique ideas and perceptions. Sara opines, “I’m always challenged by new problems, new areas that I push myself into. Usually, I realize that I’m reaching backward as I’m reaching forward.”

“When I started out in the early ‘70s the work was in many ways minimal (some blue boxes, very Judd- like) while at the same time working on these very phallic hand head wooden forms. I’ve never been able to give up these contradictions and have never seen any reason to do that. (I think a part of this is from where I am from – the south. For me, it is very gothic and filled with contradictions).”

When query about how these sensibilities evolved with the ever-changing realities of her work, “I find that there are THREADS and LAYERS that have run through my work from the beginning and still concern me.”  Her study examines the paradigm of freedom and restraint between spatial and temporal application.

A fine line between the pragmatic and the intuitive, Sara’s oeuvre is a paradox of equanimities that educe among time, space, and self-awareness.

Doug airs, “Art is a “universal language” fluently communicated and beautifully understood between cultures, ethnicities and countries. The potential for art to provide harmony and balance to a chaotic world creates a virtual bridge between all of us, and certainly Sara’s work does this.” ☐

To learn more about the artist, see recent exhibition and installation dates, or  have an artful shopping experience, chime in at