painter | drawer |educator

“I  think I am in the process of collecting coastlines…..lots of video here of waves washing over rocks…..characteristic of nearly every island edge…”

 Sara’s field notebook, March 2019

Sara is an artist with an affinity for wilderness, a concern for environment and a need for community. She exhibits extensively, undertakes and leads collaborative, participatory and development projects and was elected an academician at the Royal West of England Academy of Art in 2016.

A persistent curiosity about physical and conceptual relationships with the environment, especially in remote or isolated locations, drives her work. Exploring the physical world is central to her practice, examining notions of ‘permanence and impermanence’ and ‘substance and essence’, including human and animal relationships with ecology and geology. Individual elements are often isolated or juxtaposed (e.g. rocks, swarms, cairns), expressing literal and metaphorical interpretations of places simultaneously.

Sara absorbs her subject through direct experiences and researched information, often using low-tech video footage as the source and starting point for reprocessing the subject through drawn and painted interpretations.

The interplay between the craft of creating drawings and paintings with the conceptual intent is crucial in developing Sara’s works beyond either purely aesthetic or wholly conceptual artefacts. The methods and materials used in making each work direct the outcomes in equal measure to the initial concept. Her interest lies in the potential inherent in the process of creating paintings rather than executing a pre-planned image. Sara recognises and exploits the metamorphosis of imagery which occurs through over-painting photographic prints. Sara’s works speak of ‘matter’ whether in subject, paint or questioning the flatness and reduction of photography.

In contrast to the over-saturated, heightened, screen-based reality through which we increasingly experience our environment, Sara’s paintings and drawings reclaim the world as a personal encounter of depth and complexity. Painting for her is a necessarily ponderous activity. Her gestures and marks speak of authorship and authenticity. Her works present a re-enchantment with the world.

Sara Dudman