My House, Summer '98
Egg tempera on wood, 48” x 36”, 1999

"Calmness resumes in My House, Summer '98 and Revenge Fantasy. These paintings restore the pace and vigor of McEneaney's prior images although with a few twists. In My House, we return to McEneaney's backyard where the artists portrays herself seated at a patio table reading the paper. The shadow is gone. Fresh air returns. But a closer examination of the newspaper reveals repetitious lettering that begins to articulate a chant. In neatly inscribed, minuscule characters against the stark white sheet of newspaper we read, "SHUT UP I'LL KILL YOU WHERE'S THE MONEY I'LL KILL YOU TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF SHUT UP I'LL KILL YOU WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME..." and so on, repeated across the page. Nearby on the table sits a telephone and a hammer awaiting any emergency. The door to the house, which we might have found open in prior backyard paintings, is shut. The barely perceptible peephole provides yet another layer of cover for the artist. On the wall across from the viewer--the wall that the rapist once scaled--are faintly written the names of the friends who supported her throughout the crisis. And finally, embedded in the pavement beneath the artist's feet are spider webs signifying spiritual protection. In short, calmness prevails but with diligence." --Jeanne Nugent, from the brochure for "Memory and Mastery," Sarah McEneaney's exhibit at Swathmore College, February and March 2000