July 19, 2021

Xanhaar, a portrait series

Back in the day, I used to publish fiction! Including this piece of micro-fiction titled “Xanhaar” — which I guess has more or less always been kicking around at the back of my brain, because I just did these two portraits. I like to think of them as the anniversary portraits of the characters in the story. It reminds me that my work generally has a cohesive nature, even when my ideas are diffused across time, media, and distance.

Through a series of fortunate events, I was gifted custodianship of a box of WWII-era silk pillowcases commemorating various things. I’m sure elements from them will feature heavily in my work for years to come, but the first thing that jumped out at me were a couple of portraits, which I lifted to make these pieces. Of course, nothing is too straightforward once I get going, so it ended up being a different kind of love story. The kind we all deserve.

The backgrounds are from the trove of Liberty of London fabrics I bought to celebrate getting a Kresge Fellowship back in 2015. I try not to be too precious about using them, but I’m always looking for places where just a little goes a long way. The William Morris-esque patterning really suits the style of our flapper lady, here. I’m please with it, overall.

“Xanhaar” (2021) by Sarah Rose Sharp. All images by P.D. Rearick.

The pieces have already sold, but I had the inimitable P.D. Rearick document them for me, so I can share them with you. Hope you enjoy!

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