Roger Cecil + 4 Contemporary Painters: Sarah Poland

Sarah Poland was born in Inverness in 1974 and graduated with a BA[Hons] from Edinburgh College of Art before completing an MFA at Aberystwyth School of Art in 2015. In the autumn of 2017, Poland undertook an artist residency at Elysium Gallery’s Test-bed space, is this/this is

Poland describes her practice as being ‘very much about the materiality of paint and the act of painting. ‘In painting I want something of the immediacy of drawing: its explosiveness, brevity, rawness and also a type of mark-making that is not consciously directed and informs both the beginning and the final stages of making an image. Paintings can be weighty, at the same time possessed with a lightness of spirit – both of which are inescapably a part of nature. I believe that nature and landscape can be a metaphor for human experience and that this can help to create a depth of perception’.

Speaking about the work of Roger Cecil Sarah says:

“For me, Roger Cecil’s approach to making paintings was akin to Joan Eardley in Scotland, who had a huge formative influence on me as a child and whose influence still continues – they both painted the natural landcape but also the grit of working-class life within it’s environment. With both of these painters, I find their crossing of the blurry line between abstraction and figuration, their use of colour, their stoicism to paint whatever the weather conditions and their tenacity towards their own practice – to be unswayed by the current theme, congruent with my own approach and creative practice focused on nature and my experience of living.

My current project, now in it’s 6th year, is about an experience of living off-grid, in a Nomadic Studio, in an 80 acre oak woodland in west Wales.

I paint about my particular human experience and believe that nature and landscape can be a metaphor for this and can help to create depth of perception rather than an illusion. As a way of working through ideas I make studies in series – I would make endless walks, drawings, photographs, observations, listenings, night walks making photographic moon drawings, bathing in the woodland bath in river water with a fire beneath me, collecting wood, making fires, making charcoal, river swims, collecting oak galls to experiment in ink making while walking around and through the woodland. I even saw the savage grace of a black panther making it’s way silently, ahead, across my path. Although I don’t work directly from these studies they are part of an ‘immersion in practice’, a constant improvisation with visual language, working ‘in the moment’ where the physical act of making is, in part, an ontological process.

I believe that one of the things that make painting distinctive is how the perception of time is evaluated: its histories can be visible and at the same time all are firmly in the present. In painting I want something of the immediacy of drawing: its explosiveness, brevity, rawness and also a type of mark-making that is not consciously directed and informs both the beginning and the final stages of making an image.

Many times I wasn’t sure whether the trees were dancing, making music or calligraphy; observations like these help to inform the work. It was a totally immersive experience for both living and making a body of work – living in something until yourself is forgotten.”

 

Find out more about Roger Cecil + 4 Contemporary Painters


Saturday 17 March 2018 2pm

Gallery Talk

4 Contemporary Painters in Conversation

Helen Booth ● Laura Edmunds ● Catrin Llwyd Evans ●Sarah Poland.

Join the four painters from our exhibition Roger Cecil + 4 Contemporary Painters to hear about their work and their responses to the work of the late Roger Cecil.

Free entry, no need to book.

Find out more


Image: Sarah Poland: Neon and Rust 2015, Oil, Acrylic, Iron Filings, Salt and Graphite Dust on Canvas, 200 x 100cm

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