Distilled from thousands of diary drawings begun in her parents’ garden shed back in 1996, Sarah Lightman's The Book of Sarah is an alternative bible to the one she moved away from, along with the religious Jewish lifestyle she followed as a teenager.
The Book of Sarah is missing from the bible, so artist Sarah Lightman sets out to make her own: questioning religion, family, motherhood and what it takes to be an artist in this quietly subversive visual autobiography from NW3.
Drawings of an imaginary Hampstead bible, a baby monitor, the local landscape of Ellerdale Road and the outside of St Paul’s Girls’ School: books and streets, buildings and objects fill this bildungsroman set in North West London. Sarah Lightman has been drawing her life since she was a 22-year-old undergraduate at The Slade School of Art. The Book of Sarah traces her journey from modern Jewish orthodoxy to a feminist Judaism, as she searches between the complex layers of family and family history that she inherited and inhabited. While the act of drawing came easily, the letting go of past failures, attachments and expectations did not. It is these that form the focus of Sarah’s astonishingly beautiful pages, as we bear witness to her making the world her own.
The Book of Sarah will be published by Myriad in 2019.