Sarah Jane– I most often work within the genre of portraiture and narrative painting. My work explores notions of identity, relationship, sexuality and place via naturalistic oil painting with a nod to traditional formal and painterly concerns whilst maintaining a contemporary aesthetic and politics.
Generally my paintings, whether featuring reclining male nudes or suited lesbian couples, are always bright, bold and celebratory in nature.
The subjects I paint are those who I’m close to or intrigued by and as such my work is mostly autobiographical. I also enjoy painting still lives and landscapes.
The painters I admire most are almost too many to mention, but Paula Rego, Alice Neel, Maggi Hambling, Jenny Saville, Romaine Brooks, Joan Eardley, Rita Angus, David Hockney, Lucian Freud, Richard Diebenkorn, Toss Wollaston, Colin McCahon, John Bratby, Francis Bacon, Marlene Dumas, Cezanne, Matisse and Van Gogh are definitely key.
London has been home for the better part of the last decade though I am from Lower Hutt originally and retain strong ties to New Zealand as a place and source of cultural inspiration. I return most years in the summer for over a month. I’m fortunate that my work is increasingly recognised here in London, most recently with the Arts Club Charitable Trust Award in 2015 and the Bulldog Bursary from the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 2013.
From 25th February — 29th May 2016 I am exhibiting ‘Late Night Studio (Self)’ at the Adam Portraiture Award, NZ’s foremost portraiture exhibition, at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery. The award is judged by Mette Skougaard, Director of The Museum of National History, Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark.
I’m also staging and participating in an exhibition of 12 women representational painters and sculptors in London at the Menier Gallery called 12@Menier late February and in March donating a large painting to the Terrance Higgins Trust auction at Christie’s to raise money in support of people living with HIV.