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Long and White, ‘the road twists like a snake toward the far-off blue places’

Sarah Burwash celebrates the uncertain in an hypnotic animated piece.


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Exhibit 303, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, 1675 Lower Water Street


In Long and White, 'The road twists like a snake toward the far-off blue places', artist Sarah Burwash's animation takes us down a strange and looping path, causing us to wonder, "Have I been here before?"

Burwash borrows the title from the autobiographical writings of Isabelle Eberhardt, a Swiss-Algerian writer and explorer whose book Oblivion Seekers chronicles her extensive travels in North Africa disguised as a man, including her conversion to Islam. Producing a small but critically acclaimed body of work, she died in a flash flood in 1907 at the age of 27.

In Long and White, Burwash pays homage to Eberhardt: Her fascinating life and untimely death emulating, for Burwash, this year's theme of vanish.

Burwash's hypnotic animation done in watercolour is non-linear, twisting and reappearing in a timeless sequence that speaks directly to neither past nor present. The feeling is that of a long drive, scenery flashing by and the landscape rising and falling between treeline and cityscape. The rhythm of the work is not unlike water and other such far-off blue places. Burwash keeps us at a distance, never giving us a clear narrative or storyline, creating what she calls "a celebration of the uncertain, the temporary, the traditional and radical break." The animation will play at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic—a fitting site to pay homage to a world traveller like Eberhardt.


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