Submitted by Sarah Leahy

Client: Private client

Location: New York, NY, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $40,000

Project Team

Sarah leahy

Private client


Ink painted on plexiglass, light throughout the day. This is a 4 panel work that is 55 inches by 172 inches. I employ a unique process which I developed of painting black India ink onto the surface of sanded plexiglass. Slowly and deliberately I build layers of delicate ink washes creating soft grays and deep blacks, while alternately removing areas of ink with sandpaper to yield a radiant white. Refracted light is held within the body of each pane of plexiglass, bringing about a mysteriously layered presence.
My work explores how we see ourselves and what surrounds us, quietly observing people and spaces encountered during daily activities that are usually unnoticed and quite beautiful. The intent is to create work that has a sensory, tactile presence with a luminous depth. To create, through the presence of the work, the possibility of a moment of recognition and reflection.


My goal was to show the arc of light through the day. I created this work in my studio. It was not commissioned in advance and is available.


I created this work in my studio. It was not commissioned in advance and is available.

Additional Information

I have developed a unique process of painting with Black India ink washes onto the surface of sanded plexiglass. Using the layering of multiple washes and sanding back and forth, the image is brought into focus as the embedded India ink accumulates. Darker areas are built up with ink while lighter areas are sanded out, allowing you to view the wall surface through the translucent glass. Each piece of plexiglass is attached to the wall with screws through the surface or small nails at the edges to hold it in place. The overt materiality of the work; ink made of carbon soot and water, plexiglass made of extruded acrylic, steel hardware, contrasts with and heightens the atmospheric effect. The images are sourced from my own photographs, moments I notice serving as a starting point. My painting process allows me to give a subtle painterly body to the image, articulating the image texture, light, and most importantly its physical presence when experiencing it. The paintings embody a huge compression of time and attention. The body of light refracting through the translucent acrylic glass combined with the luminous monochromatic tones of black to white, create a concentrated presence. The work invites attentiveness.