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Boisdale Art

Sarah Longworth-West

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Talisman H

Oil paint and oil pastel on pigmented gesso panel

42 x 30 cm



Sarah Longworth-West (born 1981) London. Lives and works in Leytonstone, London. Graduated with an MFA in Painting from The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL in 2008; and a BA in Fine Art from Newcastle University in 2006. Longworth-West has recently exhibited in Blink 4, Safehouse, Copeland Road, London; had a 2- person exhibition Painted Conversations with Marcus Murison; a collaborative curated project in Whitespace Gallery, Edinburgh; and was selected for the Barbican Arts Trust exhibition, London. Longworth-West has also exhibited in Fully Awake 3:6, Dyson Gallery, London; Merge Visible curated by Charley Peters, Contemporary British Painting, London; The Trouble with Painting Today, curated by Hannah Conroy, Pump House Gallery, London and IMPACT 9 International, at The China Academy of Arts, Hangzhou, China. Other activities include membership in LCN (London Creative Network) & The Art Working Parents Alliance; a research paper delivered at the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester and published in the book ‘Teaching Painting: how can a painting be taught at art schools?’; an exhibition residency at LOOKOUT, in Aldeburgh; a financial award from a-n The Artists Information Company to support a year of her practice - Re: View Bursary. Since 2013 Longworth-West has held the post of Lecturer Fine Art: Painting at Norwich University of the Arts.

Recent panel paintings have been focused on creating subtle dystopian non-spaces and nonobjects that are hard to locate but overall give the atmosphere of a place in which people or remnants of them occasionally inhabit or hold. I am interested in form, shape and volume alongside their visual placement(s) within compositions; ideas surrounding degradation, the values of material culture of objects and their lineage alongside and intertwined with crucial formal painting decisions. I make a traditional handmade gesso adding pigment or overlapping layers to fuse colour. Whilst preparing the gesso surface on board, I fanatically sand for a smooth yet inevitably flawed surface (reflecting the paintings’ content) that, when inspected close up, reveals the intricacies and incidental qualities of the material. Figures are present through their absence and it is this ambiguity and implication of figure, form or object which often gives momentum to the paintings’ construction. I am interested in the interplay of representation and abstraction. The use of borders as a device to be a visual weight, container, edge, colour activator or frame is of recurring importance in allowing a painting to be compressed or subtly released at its boundaries.