2500 minutes, Sarah Marie Hawkins’s most recent series, consists of 50 pen and ink illustrations of anonymous female figures, each rendered within 50 minutes or less and priced in relation to the amount of time they took to complete. Most of the drawings in this series feature a single female figure, which is fragmented or partially obscured by her posture and surroundings. While many of the illustrations in this series were inspired by the complex lives and personal struggles of Hawkins’s close friends and family, Hawkins’s created this series to illustrate the ways in which all women are incompletely viewed and harshly criticized within society. “In everyday life, we view women and pick them apart based on how they look and what they say,” she explains. Hawkins, a self-proclaimed feminist, admits even she has viewed and judged women in this manner. Yet, she hopes her drawings will inspire an increased kindness towards women and a greater empathy for their imperfections, their choices, and their personal struggles.
Upon first entering 2500 Minutes at Outlet Coworking in Sacramento, each of the 50 illustrations seems fairly similar to one another. They are all rendered on a small scale, feature similar line qualities, and share the same color palette. Yet, upon closer inspection, each is incredibly personal and includes surprising, dark, or intimate details. In one drawing, labeled 50 Minutes, a woman wears a red pencil skirt, a black strappy bra, and stands with her hands raised behind her head. One of her wrists is injured, yet she stands strong and erect. In another, a woman lies on her back with her face obscured by her flowing mass of hair. One hand rests across her forehead, possibly shielding sun from her eyes, and the other rests on her shoulder. Her clothes are minimally rendered with a single black form, which blends into an inky, atmospheric circle.
Although Hawkins’s figures are unidentifiable, it is this very quality of anonymity, which makes them so relatable to viewers. “Since I don’t show their faces,” says Hawkins, “Everyone can relate.” Visitors at the reception chatted about the pieces they enjoyed and identified specific illustrations to which they felt a personal connection. Unsurprisingly, a number of drawings were sold at the opening, which is probably due to the personal and relatable nature of each of the rendered figures. Each of the figures may be interpreted in a personal manner: as a sister, a friend, or even oneself. Each is a reminder to express kindness towards all women and compassion for their struggles.
2500 Minutes is currently on view at Outlet Coworking at 2110 K Street, Sacramento.
Words and Photos: Justina Martino.