Over the past 18 months, many of us have felt the need for a break from reality. Endless news stories, social media feeds and constant digital connection has led to overwhelm. There’s been a demand for “visual escapism”, with the trend popping up everywhere – from fashion runways to home décor. Whilst Dublin-based photographer Sarah Doyle created Make the World Go Away pre-pandemic, its intention is timely.
The series, featured here, was created over four years – from 2015-2019. “This was what I was doing when I wasn’t working on other things,” Doyle notes. “I’d find myself visually overwhelmed by the work, and maybe by the world. And this is what I did in return.” Each shot is bold, abstract and contemporary. Sand covered staircases, teetering matches and stacked pink discs are set against bright pop backgrounds.
For Doyle, playing with these objects was form of escape, a way of travelling to – or even inventing – new places. “I’m engaged in a kind of exchange with the objects, they feel like characters to me. These colours, lines, light and shadow are all expressions of this world where things can be worked out and possibilities are endless. It’s about creating your own world.” Everyday items are protagonists in these tales.
The results are intimate, engaging and curious. Each photograph is playful and deliberately ambiguous – asking questions about our relationships with objects and scale. Doyle’s debut exhibition took place in 2021 at Atelier.Now Gallery in Dublin. She has been featured in various publications: Tatler, Vogue.com, Time Europe/US, amongst others. Clients include Urban Outfitters, Sony Music and Max Factor.
All images courtesy Sarah Doyle.
1. arch(blue), part of the ‘Make the world go away’ exhibition 2021
2. pink + green, part of the ‘Make the world go away’ exhibition 2021
3. arch (green), part of the ‘Make the world go away’ exhibition 2021
4. arch(blue), part of the ‘Make the world go away’ exhibition 2021
5. teardrops, part of the ‘ Make the world go away’ exhibition 2021
6. match, part of the ‘ Make the world go away” exhibition 2021
7. house on sand, part of the ‘Make the world go away’ exhibition 2021