Artist Biography - Sarah Ollerenshaw

Sarah is an artist with a background in fine art restoration. She studied Spanish and History of Art at Birmingham University and then took a postgraduate diploma at Christie’s Education, which in turn led to an apprenticeship in restoration and conservation.

Throughout her studies and restoration work, she has always painted and is largely self-taught. Despite her love
... for restoration, it became clear that her passion for paint was moving in to a more personal direction and Sarah welcomed the gradual shift of spending more time in her studio in Wimbledon. Whilst concentrating on her own art she also embraced a two-year stint as artist in residence at Kensington Prep where she devised and taught history of art related projects to the children. She now paints full time and is a mother to two wonderful children.

Her landscapes are inspired by her experiences whilst walking around her beloved London Parks, which she refers to as City Countryside. Her work heavily references the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park amongst other London grassy spots and she has been known to venture further afield, up into North London occasionally.

Sarah's paintings are executed with an intensity and dynamic use of painterly bold marks and scratches. Increasingly interested in how paint moves and how depending on its placement, her choice of colour can either stand out or fade into the background. Her artwork is deceptively simple, however on a closer inspection the layering of the paint reveals the work involved in her paintings production. The tension between abstraction and a photographic edge is the desired effect with vivid, rhythmic poetry and balance of her style combined with the workmanship resulting in bright paintings of artistic integrity.

Statement

‘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!

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, is reminded of all that is important and feels alive 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 connections between the past and present.
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