Sarah Kaufman: Devil's Pool
October 8 – November 4, 2021
The Devil’s Pool photographs explore a swimming hole in Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Park and emphasize the value of access to green spaces within an urban setting. The project investigates how people relate to their environment and affirms a human need or impulse to commune with the natural world. The work pictures diversity, celebrating the human body interacting with nature, and looks at relationships among people, their bodies, and the environments that they inhabit. It recognizes a long tradition of bathing throughout art history (both indoors and out in nature) and the potential for a pictorial space where the body can be openly represented and honored. This work considers the reflexivity in viewing imagery of people fully taken by their physical and psychological surroundings.
The work stems from my love for the Wissahickon and the respite that it provides. People from all over are drawn to this urban swimming hole as a place to play and revel in physicality and nature. The images depict moments of coherence among our bodies and the world around us. At Devil’s Pool, I am able to expand my admiring picture of everyday bodies, their owners absorbed in unselfconscious presence.
Sarah Kaufman (b. Philadelphia, PA) received a BA from Haverford College and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Solo exhibitions of her photography include Saint Joseph’s University, Haverford College, Bowdoin College, Soho Photo and Porter Contemporary galleries in New York, and she has participated in group exhibitions nationwide. Kaufman’s photographic and curatorial projects have been reviewed in ARTnews Magazine and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Work from her ongoing project, Devil’s Pool, was recently acquired by the Pennsylvania Convention Center for permanent exhibition. She is an Assistant Professor in Art at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania where she teaches all levels of Photography and cross‐media Studio Practices. Kaufman lives and works in Philadelphia.