Our surroundings are constantly subject to change. On the one hand these surroundings can be manipulated, on the other hand events just surface and take place. Extreme events are feared by people but at the same time there is a strange attraction to the horrific. Men wants to be a spectator. These drawings investigate the transformation of energy present in the human body and surroundings, starting with the desire of self to be in charge of the shifts that take place around us. The human image in these works is subjected to the influences of its surrounding but is at the same time, also capable of making its mark on this environment.

The Poppy Fields as underworld contains a series of drawings portraying graves. They allow sight into the earth underneath the landscape. A ghost like oasis; a world of chaos and pain versus beauty and quietness. A surrounding containing images of human bodies and sleeping faces. In contrast to the horror of the subject, the grave itself lies in a quiet down stillness, drawn in sooth and silver leaf. Silver will transform to black under the influence of oxygen. The bodies lay fixed in the underworld, cut off from oxygen, a state of transition brought to a standstill.

The Amae as upper world shows a combined kind of human being. Albinos with black faces, black arms and an androgynous character. Amae is a Japanese word for an emotion which means as much as a comforting dependence; a total surrender of responsibility to another. As an image of men it is one of a fragile but cunning warrior. These people are standing still consumed by thought, sometimes lay in a slumber to then, in the next image awaken to claim their territory. The phase between wakefulness and sleep shows us characters who in an intimate form of concentration find a balance which let them surrender themselves to the emptiness of the moment.

The choice to use sooth, in all its elusive and ethereal materiality, refers to destruction and life combined; without fire no life. A form of energy which leaves behind, once again energy. People appear in these works as easily as they disappear, captured and released with the use of sooth. Theirs is an energy that is in constant flux. From their surroundings these figures appear by partial erasure of the sooth, being painted in or recapture them with the use of drawing. Depending on what is being pulled to the surface, this surrounding itself will sometimes disappear.

The people in these drawings mirror themselves to their surrounding, they are looking for recognition, they are trying to find themselves. Their silver stained shadows start to lead their own lives. The concepts of shadow, mirror image and after image are ill defined and run amok. A shadow or after image is visible, depending on the point of view of the viewer. The presence of swarms of arrows of energy in body and surroundings are reminiscent of tidal maps showing currents and their direction. The energy present swarms like a swirl pool in multiple directions. Sometimes these swarms can be seen as numbered drops of water which are an echo of impossibility and senselessness.


No drawing by Sarah van der Pols is without a human figure. She seems to wish to capture everything that actually does not allow itself to be drawn within the contours of the physique, such as the thought process, emotional experiences and suchlike.
In the application of often-linear actions with pen, pencil, pigment ink etc., she finds a way to represent these.
In applying the elusive soot that falls onto the paper, the mental and metaphysical character of the work is reinforced. Due to the wealth of applied materials, drawn structures and shading, the drawings display a high degree of abstraction despite their encapsulation within the human figure. As a consequence of the repetition of certain forms, whether explicit or not, the notion that an individual could never survive on his or her own in this world soon becomes obvious. The shapes suggest motion, of getting up, of dancing, perhaps even of wishing to escape from the inner world that initially appeared to have everything under control.
The individual retreats into himself and cherishes his feelings and thoughts. The drawings have become their own territory. They are metamorphoses, substantiations of the unthinkable, captured in an image. They are searching but they have also been found. It is work that feels at home in its own yearning.
By drawing her ideas in this way, Sarah van der Pols creates a different consciousness. As well as exemplifying the conversation of the vulnerable and the emotional into a substantial image, her work is the visualization of the power of humanity and of its capacity to generate an own form and image. It is clear that the anxiety, the yearning, the beauty, the spiritual wealth evident in the drawings of Sarah van der Pols are represented in a generic way at an almost universal level. In that sense, the characters are symbols of humanity in general.