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Signet Contemporary Art London
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Sarah Ollerenshaw

Sarah Ollerenshaw is an artist with experience restoring fine art. At Birmingham University, she majored in Spanish and art history. She later completed a postgraduate course at Christie’s Education, which led to an apprenticeship in restoration and conservation. She has always painted and has learned most of what she knows on her own throughout her studies and restoration work. Sarah appreciated the gradual change that allowed her to spend more time in her Wimbledon studio despite her love of restoration. It became evident that her enthusiasm for painting was shifting into a more personal direction. While focusing on her own work, she also accepted a two-year position as artist in residence at Kensington Prep, where she created and instructed students on projects relating to the history of art.

There is something very evocative of childhood about a bluebell wood – I think one never forgets the first walk, seeing and smelling a bluebell wood for the first time…my paintings are meant to take you back to experience that delight and wonder one felt on first experiencing the woods in all their glory!

One of my earliest childhood memories is singing, ‘In and out of the dusty bluebells’ whilst holding hands with my grandmother and sister and dancing and weaving through a weeping willow in her garden. Whenever I see bluebells I think of that song; I remember a wonderful grandmother who championed me and I think of that happy memory which though now only fleeting, will always be etched firmly in my mind.

 My paintings hopefully resonate and inspire for a moment a spiritual transportation away from the busyness of life to another place where one feels at peace and connected. They recall those with whom we have ‘journeyed’ be they from the past or present and remind us of all that is important in order that we may feel alive, rooted and inspired by creation.’

Sarah’s paintings are worked loosely from photographs in her studio. They are executed with intensity and vigour using painterly bold marks, scratches and a range of palette knives. Her increasing interest is in how paint moves and how, depending on its placement, colour can either sing or disappear. The desired effect is a tension between abstraction yet achieving a photographic edge – something emotionally painterly yet real.

 The colourful rhythmic poetry and balance of her work combined with the workmanship results in paintings of artistic integrity that inspire emotional connections between the past and present.

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