Preview: 6.00-8.00pm Thursday 4 October Continues until Saturday 13 October 2007
Oisín Gallery is proud to launch a Dublin debut solo-exhibition of new works by a highly accomplished and exciting new London-based talent. Sarah Harvey's underwater figurative paintings are the result of a curious combination of imagination, innovation and peculiarity. Her main sources of reference are photographs of herself, partially or totally submerged in water. She then pieces fragments of these images together, manipulating and accentuating perspectives and distortions before translating onto large-scale canvases.
Harvey graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Fine Art from Newcastle University after completing a BTEC Diploma Art Foundation Course at Chelsea College in 2000. She has since exhibited her work in London, Australia, Barbados, Malta, France and the United States. She has also won many awards for her work, most recently securing second place in launch of a new award for a first-time exhibitor, entitled the Insight Investment Newcomer’s Prize in this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London. The prize celebrates the visual arts by developing a lasting legacy for young and emerging artists in the UK working in any discipline. Sarah’s painting ‘Clam’ was included in the shortlist of just 20 works selected by a panel of three judges who included Anthony Green RA, Charles Farquharson and Marylane Barfield PRBSA. Working in collaboration with BBC2 and Insight Investment, the winner was determined by a public vote and announced during a live broadcast on BBC2.
I aim to create paintings that arouse both a sense of well being and pleasure, whilst simultaneously suggesting notions of insecurity, fantasy and sexuality.
Entirely suspended by the water, the human forms are fragmented by the ripples and swirls created by the water, abstracting them, and often with implausible results such as the appearance of disfiguration or distortion. I have become increasingly excited about the abstract elements in these works, and the interplay between light, colour and water. The emerging patterns are becoming more apparent and dominant, drawing the eye not only towards the main focal point of the human form, but also to the surrounding areas, which are of equal significance.
About the Artist:
Sarah Harvey won the Bartlett Travel Scholarship whilst studying at Newcastle University. She subsequently visited Florence and the surrounding areas of Tuscany, and it was during this trip she happened upon a green swimming pool that has inspired much of her work to date. This latest collection derives from recent travels to Australia and India.
The symbolism of water and swimming is well-worn territory, signifying transformation, rebirth, and tranquillity; but Harvey creates narrative paintings that float between introspection and escapism, and remind us of the power lakes, pools, and oceans have over our imaginations. Her explorations into this theme have offered a wealth of inspiration and provided a motif that is at the same time natural and at her own command. Predominantly working from photographs of herself, partially or totally submerged in water, sections of images are often pieced together to further manipulate and accentuate perspectives and distortions before translating onto large-scale canvases. The artistic challenge presented by this subject is not only the representation of movement, colour and light but also the successful inclusion of the human figure altered by the distorting effects of water.
The work is without a horizon line, enabling Harvey to endow the work with a sense of immediacy, minimizing the illusion of depth and distance so that the surface of the canvas becomes a two-dimensional pattern and acquires a spatial continuity in which all parts of the composition are treated with equal importance. At their best, these underwater portraits vibrate with subtle gradations of light, colour, shade and movement, and areas of burnished, even colour simultaneously dramatizing the surface and bringing the whole into harmony.
Sarah Harvey, born London, 1981.
Studio - Bow Arts Trust, London.
Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree, Fine Art Painting,
Newcastle University, United Kingdom, 2004
BTEC Diploma Art Foundation Course, Chelsea College of
Art and Design, London, United Kingdom, 2000
Underlying Current, Oisín Gallery, Dublin, 2007
Coming Up For Air, Sesame Gallery, London, 2006
Paul Gullotti Gallery, Perth - Australia, 2006
Selected group exhibitions
Beaux Arts Gallery, Bath
TIA Art Fair, Toronto, represented by Sarah Myerscough of London
Sarah Harvey & Miriam Jarrs, Sesame Gallery, London
Multicomplexificationalities, selected by Roy Exley, Nunnery Gallery, London
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
Magnitude SEVEN, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio
Bow Arts Trust Open Studios, London
Battersea Affordable Art Fair, represented by Sesame Gallery, London
Summer Event Exhibition, Oisín Gallery, Dublin
Below the Radar, Mantra Art, London
Bow Arts Trust Open Studios, London
Gallery 47, Essex Art Club, London
Melbourne Art Fair, represented by Gullotti Galleries, Melbourne, Australia
Sydney Art Fair, represented by Gullotti Galleries, Sydney, Australia
Ninetythree Gallery, London
Normal Life Unlimited, London
Winter Show, Gallery 93, London
Mixed Show, August Gallery, Kent
In Search of Unseen Things, Sarah Harvey & Richard Somerville, Sesame Gallery, London
Art in Mind, La Viande Gallery, Hoxton, London
Mixed Show, Lacy Road Gallery, Putney, London
The Art of Love, The OXO Gallery, London
The Northern Graduates Show, Curwen Gallery, London
Modus Operandi, Curated and Exhibited, Globe Gallery, Newcastle
Exposure, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle
Insight Investment Newcomers Award, 2nd place, Royal Academy of London, 2007
Short listed for Celeste Art Prize, 2007
Grandprix Winner of Art Periscope Award, 1st prize, 2007
Ken Howard Award, selected by Ken Howard, 2007
The Bartlett Art Scholarship, Newcastle University, 2003
Sandy Lane Hotel - Barbados
BP Corporate Collection, London
London Institute of Arts, London
Time and Leisure Magazine, Front cover spread and feature, May 2007
Art Fairs International Vol.1 no 9/10, Image and feature, 2005
NY Arts Vol.10 no 9/10, Image and feature, 2005
Living North Magazine, 4 page Article, 'The Graduate', Sept 2004
Paintings in the exhibition