Sarah, from Chiddingly, said: “The title of the exhibition quite simply refers to the oil paint that I use and the stone-fired sculptures. My idea for the exhibition is to bring together both my sculptures and paintings in the same space.
“I am interested to see how they connect and relate to each other in the knowledge that there are shared themes. These are movement, texture and colour. My objective is to create a visually immersive experience. I hope that people will leave the exhibition feeling nourished. I’m fortunate to have a painting studio in a very beautiful field and sculpting space in my garden. Along with this I sculpt at The Paddock Studios in Lewes where we’re fortunate enough to work with models. The materials used have been a clay for the sculptures which Is glazed and fired… and I use oil paint for my painting, hence the title Oil & Stone.
“My first experiences of sculpting was when I was 16 during an art class. Sculpting was something of a eureka moment for me. However I didn’t touch clay again for another 30 years. For those intervening years I was involved in contemporary dance, mime and theatre. This then led me on to study visual arts at the University Of Brighton, under the tuition of Liz Agiss. It was a genuinely life-changing experience. Having finished my degree I went on to become a qualified pilates instructor which continued my interest in the human body, form and movement. I also trained and qualified as a person-centred counsellor. Looking back, all these experiences revealed to me my fascination with not only human form and movement, but crucially who the person is, what’s going on for them in that moment.
“I started attending the Paddock Studios in Lewes in 2014, and under the direction of our wonderful teacher Rose Beal, I rediscovered my passion for sculpting. My painting came about through working with my grandson during an art afternoon. It was while watching his freedom of expression, using colour, movement and texture, that I became inspired to paint. What was also crucially important was the fact he hadn’t been taught nor was he being directed, hence he was free to do whatever he wanted.This was the same for me in my approach and continues to be so.
“In bringing all those influences together, my sculpting is continually evolving, exploring the human form, with a strong emphasis, as I have said , on movement, texture and colour. My work comes from working with live models and also using my imagination and emotions whilst working alone. The use of the colour turquoise is inspired by my travels to Arizona, USA, where I spent time with the Navaho community. I like my work to look weather-beaten, aged by the elements or retrieved from the ocean. When I paint I use a palate knife, rollers and my hands. My technique is to load the paint onto the canvas, repeatedly scraping back, putting on more paint, and creating depth and layers of colour.”