Artist Statement

‘the space created by light is a space of distances and intervals…’ Böhme, G. (2017, p.149)

My practice is concerned with the exploration of exterior spaces around monumental buildings, whether inhabited or abandoned. I am drawn to the corners, the surfaces, the spaces found between or beneath walls, as well as at the peripheries. I am inspired by the intricate fragility of light and shadow and their effect on surface and colour as they move between and across these structures, particularly those made from concrete.  

I take the changeable shapes of these architectural spaces to use as graphic motifs, which are repeated, layered and reconfigured to develop abstracted compositions and sculptural forms. The combining of materials such as spray paint, collage and printmaking techniques gives me a rich textural palette to draw upon as I set up conversations between colour and materiality, whilst exploring depth and time intervals. Within my work I consider themes around memory, absence and loss and those indescribable experiences which we are unable to interact with physically, yet can sense.

I am influenced by childhood memories from the north of Western Australia, immersed in bright sunlight and sharp shadow. I recall the orangey reds of iron ore, the blinding white of salt pans and the grey of the rocks exposed at low tide.  Concrete, the material of my school, offered safety and respite from the heat. When I was eight years old our family home was destroyed by a tropical cyclone and we were evacuated to the shelter of a concrete school building; so for me concrete has positive associations, particularly with safety. This early interaction with concrete has led to a lifelong fascination with Brutalist buildings as well as WW2 bunkers and structures in Oxford, London and the Netherlands.  

My recent research explores the synaesthetic nature of our responses to the materials found in the exterior spaces we engage with in the built environment, and how they can be used to provoke unpredictable, ambiguous or diverse reactions.

I work from a studio in an 18th century cottage, just outside Oxford.

About

Sarah spent her childhood in Western Australia in the 1970’s, experiencing both the tropical, rich colours of the north, in contrast to the more temperate, sunny colours of the south. These colour palettes have both had a profound effect on how she sees and uses colour in her work and this is also where her lifelong love of concrete began.

With a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design and a PGCE in Art and Design, Sarah has taught and inspired students from ages 8 to 18, first in London and then Oxfordshire for nearly 25 years. The keeping of sketchbooks and drawing has always being central to both her teaching ethos and her art practice.

In 2020 she graduated with an MFA in Fine Art from Oxford Brookes University and is now developing her artist practice, with a particular focus on sculptural form and print.

RECENT EXHIBITIONS

2020 – Impalpable Shadows, MFA Degree Show (Online and imagined at The Foundry Gallery, London)

2020 – Oxford Art Society Open Exhibition, (Online)

2019/20 – Glass Tank Gallery, DreaMFActory – An interim exhibition of work by students from the MFA programme at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford

2019 – Traces, Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital, Oxford

2019 – Chromantics, Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot

2019 – 100 Timepieces by 100 Artists, Untangled Threads Gallery, Scarborough

2019 – Transience, Richard Hamilton Building, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford

EDUCATION

2020 – Oxford Brookes University, MFA Fine Art (Dist)

2018 – Oxford Brookes University, PGCert(Ed) Artist Teacher Scheme (Dist)

1993 – Middlesex University, PGCE (Secondary) Art and Design

1991 – Middlesex Polytechnic, BA Hons Graphic Design (2:1)

Previously

I have taught at St Clare’s, Oxford, Abingdon School and a number of other schools in Oxfordshire and London, since 1993.