Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 100cm (H) x 80cm (W) x 4.5cm (D) / 39.4" (H) x 31.5" (W) x 1.8" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
This piece is part of the Small Ports and Sea Coves collection which grew out of researching the arena of my childhood holidays, places which formed me and my ideas of the world and also of beauty. I grew up near to the coast of Dorset and visited regularly. We went on holiday to Cornwall every year for the first 9 years of my life.
In the background are the stories of piracy, smuggling and privateering . The notion of hiding in plain sight. The way in which booty was hidden just below the surface the way in which the low tide may reveal all. The way a changing landscape makes something possible that was not possible before, and the way that layers of meaning are hidden within.
The abstract forms in these paintings contain echoes of the material reality of the South West Coast
The particularity of the South West Coast of England with its small coves comes as a result of the impact of sea erosion on the land which was formed as a result of a dynamic geological history, involving heat and magma, periods of cool and water, volcanic activity and ice, the movement of tectonic plates, intrusion and metamorphosis. Bands of rock of differing densities hit the coast, and are eroded at different speeds, as the sea pierces a harder band a cove forms as it reaches the softer band behind it. Over millions of years the earth moved.
The mining related pigments are based on iron, copper, aluminium and kaolin.
The sea trade based pigments are indigo, woad, ochres and madder.
Then there is mud-rock ochre a pigment derived by the artist from the earth of the Jurassic coast, from a clay formed from eroded materials before people walked on the earth. And sea brick ochre hand made in the studio from bricks from cliff fall houses collected from the beach where they have been eroded in the sea.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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