Sarah West was born in Birmingham, England in 1965, and was raised in a town in Lancashire on the northwest coast. Sarah’s older sister proved to be her earliest art influence – as a young girl Sarah spent hours copying her sister’s drawings. Sarah’s earliest art memory involves the making of a paper mache pig, “…with a balloon, glue, and lots of mess!” Sarah went on to complete her Fine Art degree at Chelsea School of Art in 1987 and since then has lived and worked in Spain, Andalucia and then Barcelona.
In addition to pursuing a career as an artist, Sarah is a qualified English teacher, and works part time with Spanish students. She enjoys the way her work in language and in art mesh seamlessly together.“They’re both languages,” she remarks, “and I like working with texts in the collages I make, although the words are undecipherable and become another texture within the piece.”
Sarah gleans inspiration for her bold, textural works from each previous painting, and from the materials themselves. She also finds inspiration within her immediate environment, whether it’s Barcelona city or the English landscape, but she doesn’t become aware of those particular influences until the painting is complete.
She begins each painting with a simple initial composition and a limited palette of colors. The paintings evolve out of the properties of the material, and its own fluid movement, and often the initial plan is abandoned as ideas and events occur during her creative process. Finally, the work becomes a balanced composition of complex, resonant groupings. Sarah often works in series, diptychs or triptychs, where the paintings reflect and echo their counterparts, and provide changing viewpoints of the same essential material. Colour, collage and texture are thoughtfully interwoven as Sarah searches for balance, tension and points of recognition.
Since 1992 Sarah has exhibited in London, Glasgow, Dublin, Geneva, Munich, Madrid and Barcelona where she shows her work regularly. Her paintings are in demand by private, public and corporate collectors, including Reuter’s News Agency and playwright Alan Bleasdale.
“My inspiration usually comes from the last painting, and from the materials themselves.”
Sarah is a qualified English teacher, and works part-time with Spanish students.