January 31, 2022

How Do You Live with Yourself?

Sarah Muirhead

Graphite on PaperLiving with the Enemy, 202259x84cm

This is my first attempt at a self portrait since childhood. I focused on texture, sensation and exploratory touch to document the detachment between who I am and my physical self since surviving and moving past cancer almost ten years ago.

I wanted to illustrate scars which feel intensely private and which have altered my experiences due to loss of sensation and a degree of repulsion followed by adaptation. My body feels alien. I don’t mean to make a morbid statement about illness but to record the sense of separation and rediscovery which happens after being rearranged and remade. Usually I paint in colour and focus on faces but this time I wanted to show what I feel with my hands and in myself. Pencil feels honest and texturally right.