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Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham

Born: 1965

Hometown: Fordingbridge

Based in: London, UK

An artist concerned with human inter-connectedness, and the interplay between the personal and the universal as expressed through the material of pigment.

Artist’s Statement
I start with the way in which pigments leave material colour across human history and geography leaving traces of our interactions. The projects chosen have resonance with the now. The form of the work is abstract spaces to fall into. I make oil paints by hand from the relevant pigments.

Each collection has a historic or geographic specificity: I have visited the 20,000-year-old cave paintings in Pech Merle and learned about the material traceability of ochres and that a prehistoric artist might have travelled long distances: Researching the British Library archive I found the historical spread of cobalt-based glass and glazes through archaeological finds, which illustrated the expanse of cultural exchange during classical and pre-classical times. Researching the pigments listed in the Bristol Library’s Presentiment Papers (1770 Jan-June), I found evidence of transatlantic indigo just like St Katharine’s (see below), but also of madder, ochre and verdigris in a little pocket of peaceful trade between the European wars. I looked through The Admiralty papers at the National Archive, to find pigments in ships captured by privateers during the Anglo-Dutch Wars. Inspired by Turner’s Slave ship I have researched the pigments imported into St Katharine docks at the time of the abolitionist movement, and found indigo, a slave trade product, making it a colour of exploitation as well as beauty: I have looked at the evidence of Turner’s palette at the Tate, for the new pigments, at the turning point from a predominantly Colonial and alchemical to an industrial and scientifically based society. Always looking in these points of change for relevant echoes of our current flux.

The form my work takes is abstract spaces, spaces to fall into to get lost and to remember. I owe a debt to twentieth Century artists for the freedom to play in these colour fields, to Rothko and Frankenthaler, to Kandinsky, to Sonia Delaunay and breakthroughs with colour as substance. But also to the unnamed Church painters of the Middle ages for whom pigments had their own symbolism. Technically the medieval dislike of palette mixing, which was a question of material interference, echoed for me in retaining the integrity of a pigment for the story which it holds. And to the developments of oil painting by the Northern Renaissance artists and into the Southern Renaissance, and the technical traditions of glazing which allow me to layer and lends me an understanding of paint as a suspension of pigments that can be layered like strata.

My understanding and expression come through the exploration of these colour traces of our thought and history and the way in which the material holds its own story. That we must remember our human story, how we got here, how this society came into being and what the costs were is a given. There is a sense in which these colours hold more than the formal record, they hold nuance and space for connection, for potential and extant symbolism and for the stories never told.

Coming Up 2021

Summer Exhibition at Silson Contemporary, Harlow Oval, Harrogate June to August 2021

The Affordable Art Fair with the Kahn Gallery, Battersea, London 7-11th July 2021

Mixed Exhibition at The Kahn Gallery, London July 2021

Three-person show at Irving Contemporary, Essex Street, Oxford, 10 July- 7 August 2021

On Now
​Solo Exhibition of work at Vintners Place, for selected by Eleni Polycarpou for exhibition at Vintners Place, viewing by appointment. May-November 2021

Earlier in 2021
Letters From a Strange Year Pop up 1, the first real-world pop-up artist project at Vout Vintage,95 Colombia Road, London E2, 26-29 April. 2021
​Sarah Needham Solo, curated by June Frickleton, a solo exhibition at 1, Tower View, Kings Hill, Kent, and a group show at the Control Tower Gallery, Kings Hill, Kent. Viewing currently by appointment only. Feb10 - May 2021

Online
Letters From a Strange Year, a joint artist project with Paul Anderson Morrow launching online with an e-salon on Thursday, Jan 21 at 7 pm, and a virtual exhibition, real-world exhibitions and venues with dates to be announced dates to be announced


2020
The Other Art Fair, The Truman Brewery, London October 8-11 2020- Cancelled
Autumn Show, Silson Contemporary Art Gallery, Harrogate, October-Jan 2021
Water | Land, Irving Contemporary Art, Oxford, 15 Nov 20 - Jan21
Artist Walks, 4a Sutton Road, N10 1HE, 14Nov-14Dec20, community Art Project responding to the lockdown exhibiting in domestic windows across North London.
Summer Show, Gallery Artists, Silson Contemporary Art Gallery Summer show August-September 2020Unframed Highgate Contemporary Unframed online show May 2020
V-Art.Show Online open studios April/May /June editions 2020
​Art on a Postcard with Highgate Contemporary Art in aid of Feed NHS sold-out April 2020
Beyond Other Horizons: Contemporary paintings made in Britain and Romania, Iasi Palace of Culture, Iasi Romania. 1st- 31st March 2020. The exhibition will open on 3rd March 2020 with a British Council Symposium. Funded by the British Council, curated by Anna McNay, Peter Harrap and Florin Ungurianu closed early due to CV then extended to April
Mid-Winter Show, Silson Contemporary Art Gallery, Harrogate, Yorkshire, Mid Jan-April 2020 Moved online

Many of the planned shows and fairs were delayed postponed or as in the below cancelled due to Corona Virus
Affordable Art Fair New York with Kahn Gallery, Spring: Cancelled 2020
The Other Art fair London, postponed to October 2020 and again to June 2021

Late 2019
Makers and Craftsmen Project, curated interior by Bergman and Mar, Chiswick to winter 20
Kahn Gallery at the Affordable Art Fair, Hamburg 14-17 November 2019
Luminaire Arts Gallery, Beyond Abstracts, 7 Denbigh St London SW1V 2HF Nov-Dec 2019

Recent Competitions and Juried Shows
2019 Makers and Craftsmen, Curated by Bergman and Mar,
2018 The Black Swan Open selected by Johnny Messum, of Messums Wiltshire, Michael Eaves of Glastonbury Festival, Steve Burden Artist, Debbie Hilliyard of Hauser and Wirth, Sue Conrad Artist
2018 Long listed for the Secret Art Prize selected by gallerist Eleni Duke
2017 Creekside Open- selected by Jordan Baseman senior tutor at The Royal College of Art

Collections: Held in private collections in the UK, Switzerland, France, Australia, USA, the Middle East and Japan

Education
Graduated with a degree in Fine Art and Education from Hatfield Polytechnic 1989, a Masters Degree in Development Studies from South Bank University1994 and studied traditional Chinese Sumi-e ink painting under Prof Ding in Jiangxi China 2015-7

Previous Exhibitions/Fairs
The Other Art Fair, Brooklyn, New York Nov 2019
Corby Glenn Project, Exhibition at Willoughby Gallery, Corby Glenn Sept-Oct 2019
The Affordable Art Fair, Kahn Gallery, Battersea, London October 2019
Curious Duke Gallery, Mixed Show, Whitecross Street London EC1, June 2019
Open Studios, EFO Open Art Houses, Sutton Road Muswell Hill, London, 29-30 June 1-2Jul
The Other Art Fair London, Truman Brewery March 2019
Curious Duke Gallery, Winter show London December-Jan 2018-19
The Black Swan Open PV 18 October exhib19 Oct 24 Nov
Black Swan Arts, 2 Bridge Street, Frome BA11 1BB
Roys People Art Fair, Oxo Tower Wharf, London, UK November 1-4 2018
The Other Art Fair Brooklyn, New York USA November 7-11 2018
SFSA Painting, No Format Gallery/Deptford Does Art, Deptford London December 2018
Highgate Contemporary Art Gallery, Mixed Painting, Highgate High St, London 2018
The Other Art Fair London Victoria House London WC1 4-7 October 2018
Free Painters and Sculptors at the Muse Gallery October 2-7 269 Portobello Road, W11 1LR
The Curious Duke Gallery Summer Exhibition: White Cross Street, London EC1Y2018
The Other Art Fair, Bristol, 26-29 July 2018
The London Open 2018, ICI on digital display on screen at the Whitechapel Gallery June-September 2018
East Finchley Open Artist’s Houses June 30 - July 1 and July 7- 8 2018
Roy’s People Art Fair, Barge House Oxo Tower Wharf, 12-15 April 2018
Ideal Home Show- London, Why Not Art stand - digital display and catalogue 17.3-2.4.18
Trace Elements, Deptford Does Art Gallery, Deptford High St, London 8-28 Feb 2018
Private view 8.2.18 7-11
In conversation with Sarah Needham, Paul Anderson Morrow and Matthew Gould, hosted by Rosalind Davis 24.2.18 7 pm
Tower 42, Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HQ. Jan - April 2018
SFSA Painting Open 17, No Format Gallery, 7-18 December 2017
Roy's People Art Fair, Islington, London14-17th September 2017
Creekside Open 2017 selected by Jordan Baseman, APT Gallery May 2017
Art Fair Malaga, Palacio de Ferias y Congresses de Malaga, Malaga 2017: Exhibited digitally.
Small Experiments in Colour, Queen's Wood Cafe, Highgate June 2017
The Talented Artist Fair, Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QR (Whitechapel tube)
​17/18/19 March 2017
The Thames: The ARTery of London, Curator: Angus Pryor, St Katharine Docks Dec2016
​Sugar And Spice, Devon House, St Katherine Docks: Curator: Angus Pryor Aug- Sept2016
Both Ends Of Madness, Sassoon Gallery Folkestone. Curator: Angus Prior 22 July 2016
Nautical Perspectives, St Katherine Docks, curated by Angus Pryor May 2016
Whenever I feel Blue I Start Breathing, Earl's Court Project Rooms, June -July 2016
Open Studios: Open Art Spaces, Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea June-July 2016
Open studios: Kensington and Fulham Open Art Spaces, Pocket Arts 2015
Place and Proximity, Austin Forum, Hammersmith, Pocket Arts 2015
Refuse Reuse, Kensington, Pocket Arts 2015
Microtopia, Kingsgate Workshops, West Hampstead 2014
Microtopia, Kingsgate Workshops, West Hampstead 2013


33 works for sale

Walking Past your Window On the Way There

Sarah Needham, United Kingdom

Painting

$ 2,800

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Our House is Falling by Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham, United Kingdom

Painting

$ 7,000

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Cove by Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham, United Kingdom

Painting

$ 6,500

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Round and Round by Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham, United Kingdom

Painting

$ 3,300

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Ova by Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham, United Kingdom

Painting

$ 2,600

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Dorset Coast by Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham, United Kingdom

Painting

$ 2,600

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Dynamic Balance and Stillness by Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham, United Kingdom

Painting

$ 1,220

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Memory of More Normal Times by Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham, United Kingdom

Painting

$ 1,220

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Still by Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham, United Kingdom

Painting

$ 6,500

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Large Responses in Oil No 1 by Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham, United Kingdom

Painting

$ 2,500

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Large Responses in Isolation No 2 by Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham, United Kingdom

Painting

$ 2,500

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Large Responses in Oil No 3 by Sarah Needham

Sarah Needham, United Kingdom

Painting

$ 2,500

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Sarah Needham In The Studio

"I start with the way in which pigments leave material colour across human history and geography, forming traces of our interactions. I make oil paints by hand from pigments researched for their role in human visual culture. My understanding and expression arise through the exploration of these colour traces of our thought and history, and the way in which the material holds its own story."

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More About Sarah Needham

IconInspires

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the colour traces left across history and geography by pigments leaving traces of our human interconnectedness and exchange.

IconCreative

Describe your creative process.

Based on research into the history of pigment in human material culture, I borrow from both Eatern and Western traditions,. A day in the studio starts with hand making paints, sometimes from preprepared pigments, and sometimes from scratch, the pigment is ground onto oil, before a period of reflection, and then applied in thin glazes to the surface building up tonal areas. On the best days I enter a state of flow where the process, body and mind are at one in the making channeling the energy of the work.

IconMagnifying

What are 3 words that best describe your work?

Researched, abstract, balanced

IconUser

Who are some artists that have influenced your work?

Prof Ding, Marc Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, JWTurner, Takesada Matsutani, Matisse and more

IconTool

What is the most important tool when creating your work?

a broad flat ended paintbrush

IconGive

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Persist

IconLightbulb

Where do you go for inspiration?

Day to day life mediated through historical research into pigments


Collections featuring Sarah Needham

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Credentials

Education

University of Edinburgh

United Kingdom, 1999

Private student, Ding Laoshi, Jiangxi Normal University

China, 1997

South Bank University

United Kingdom, 1994

Hatfield Polytechnic

United Kingdom, 1989

Exhibitions

Sarah Needham at Vintners Place, London

2021

Sarah Needham, Solo, 1 Tower View

2021

Summer Exhibition, Silson Contemporary

2021

SFSA Open Painters

2021

Open Studios, EFOA Open Art House, London

2021

Gallery Artist Summer Show, Kahn Gallery

2021

The Decorative Antiques and Textile Fair, Battersea, with Thomas Spencer Fine Art

2021

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair with Thomas Spencer Fine Art

2021

Winter Art And Antiques Fair, Olympia with Thomas Spencer Fine Art

2021

The Other Side, Irving Contemporary Oxford,

2021

The Other Art Fair, London

2021

Water Lands, Irving Contemporary

2020

Autumn Winter Show, Silson Contemporary

2020

Summer Show, Silson Contemporary

2020

Beyond Other Horizons, Iasi Palace of Culture

2020

The Affordable Art Fair, Hamburg, with the Kahn Gallery

2019

The Other Art Fair, New York

2019

Awards

The Makers and Craftsmen, Bergman and Mar

2019

Selected: Black Swan Open, Frome UK

2018

Creekside Open selected by Jordan Baseman

2017

Education

University of Edinburgh

United Kingdom, 1999

Private student, Ding Laoshi, Jiangxi Normal University

China, 1997

South Bank University

United Kingdom, 1994

Hatfield Polytechnic

United Kingdom, 1989

Exhibitions

Sarah Needham at Vintners Place, London

2021

Sarah Needham, Solo, 1 Tower View

2021

Summer Exhibition, Silson Contemporary

2021

SFSA Open Painters

2021

Open Studios, EFOA Open Art House, London

2021

Gallery Artist Summer Show, Kahn Gallery

2021

The Decorative Antiques and Textile Fair, Battersea, with Thomas Spencer Fine Art

2021

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair with Thomas Spencer Fine Art

2021

Winter Art And Antiques Fair, Olympia with Thomas Spencer Fine Art

2021

The Other Side, Irving Contemporary Oxford,

2021

The Other Art Fair, London

2021

Water Lands, Irving Contemporary

2020

Autumn Winter Show, Silson Contemporary

2020

Summer Show, Silson Contemporary

2020

Beyond Other Horizons, Iasi Palace of Culture

2020

The Affordable Art Fair, Hamburg, with the Kahn Gallery

2019

The Other Art Fair, New York

2019

Awards

The Makers and Craftsmen, Bergman and Mar

2019

Selected: Black Swan Open, Frome UK

2018

Creekside Open selected by Jordan Baseman

2017

Press

Letters From a Strange Year, Artists Conversations, ISBN 9-781527-283657

2021

Beyond Other Horizons, Exhibition Catalogue ISBN 987-696-8547-43-5

2020

Telerama: Artist Walk article

2020

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