Arnold Saper completed most of the 34 drawings in the exhibition during a sabbatical year taken while he was a professor at the School of Art. The impetus for the direction of the work and media used arose from his desire to reconnect with his life after travelling by himself through Europe for period of time. The sitters included himself, his wife, Pat, and his two youngest children, Michelle and James.
“Apart from the subject matter, the decision to work in drawing, particularly with simple tools, enabled me to stay closer to the work emotionally. I had come to realize how detached much of my work felt to other people. I had always dedicated myself, particularly in my intaglio prints, to surpassing the early states through an effort of will and extensive reworking. It became apparent that I may have succeeded only too well. I decided then to do a lot of serious drawing through which I could still work the image without losing touch with what was essential and living in it.” Essay by Arnold Saper.