Belgrade Series

The Circle series“1-5 are large charcoal/pastel drawings, 38″ x 52”, on BFK paper, 1992-95.

“The “The Circle series” 6 is an interactive 3-d game, 16″ x 12″, of driftwood, magnets, copper, pine, 2001.

“The Other series” 1-18 are ongoing studies: ink, acrylic, gesso on 4″ x 6″ watercolor paper, 1990’s to the present.



“Sally Weare’s drawings, radically reduced to black and white with few additions of color, visually express basic and existential questions…as well as our need to affirm our common humanity, ”Irina Subotic, professor of Art History and  curator of contemporary art in Belgrade –from exhibition essay, Chaos Gallery, Belgrade, 1996.

My work reflects my thinking about our relationships to each other and to our fragile planet; through making it, I hope to reveal our commonality and interdependence.

After many years of drawing and painting, making photographic series and then experimental interdisciplinary work, I began to draw again.  During the mid-90’s, after the deaths a few months apart of both my parents, I began a series of what I thought were exploratory drawings using a spontaneous process similar to automatic writing.  I made gestures with charcoal and pastel, or brush and ink, accepting whatever appeared.

These marks immediately took on lives of their own, and became figures in an ongoing series of drawings. At that time, I was also listening on my Walkman to reports of the rising violence in Yugoslavia.  It soon became clear that the work I thought was highly personal, not consciously about anything specific, was reacting to events in the world way outside my studio, outside my own life.

As I worked, I began to think about how we perceive other human beings. As strangers or friends, brothers, sisters, are we mirrors to each other, familiar and therefore safe?   Or, do they represent the unknown, not us, enemies, or possibly what we fear in ourselves?   These drawings, the large 3ft by 4ft CIRCLE SERIES and smaller studies, are about communication between people—or the lack of it–when those who were once brothers, friends and neighbors, become “the other,” as they did during the Bosnian conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. They are also about the masks we show each other, the other self.
The conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, Israel and Palestine, and in many other places, seem to revolve around this question at its most basic level—how do we conceive of and respond to “the other?”  In this series of drawings, I become a witness.  And the question becomes: who is the enemy?

The interactive sculpture, “SURVIVORS” made of driftwood, magnets, and Douglas Fir, creates a metaphorical endgame: we are all different, but also the same; we share a finite space: let’s try to find ways to live together.