Brief introduction of yourself.
I graduated from the painting school at the Royal College of Art in 2004. Since then I’ve had four solo shows and been included in various group shows, with features in the Guardian, Vogue and Flash Art magazine. I started curating group shows in 2015 but my main focus continues to be on my painting practise.
‘Directions’ oil on board, 100 x 122cm, 2017 © Sarah Jeffries
Does your work engage with current events (and how) ?
This year my work has become the most politically engaged it has ever been. After all the debating over Brexit and the result for Britain to leave the EU, I became increasingly concerned with composing work that would express this turbulent political climate. I’ve been designing angular board paintings that defy the usual conventions and manipulates perceived perspectives through optical illusions. I’m exploring the interplay between the environment and perimeter. The black and white striped element has been inspired by the ‘Breton Stripe’, it either mirrors and flows easily with the central composition or it dictates, truncates or manipulates it. For me the stripes are an important expression of the divided opinion that exists in todays British culture.
‘The House of Healing’, oil on board, 106 x 163cm, 2017 © Sarah Jeffries
Can you describe your typical working day?
After dropping off my son at school, I take a few minutes to kind of meditate and switch in to thinking about what I’m working on in the studio. Once I’ve made my morning cup of tea I head out to my out building studio in my garden and sit and look at my work in progress. I usually work on one painting at a time. I imagine what the next step might be in a painting and ponder over whether it’s the right move or not. Depending on what mood I’m in I listen to Radio Four’s Women’s Hour or Lauren Lavern’s 6music show to kick start the act of painting.
‘Neo Group’ oil on board, 85.5 x 135cm, 2017 © Sarah Jeffries
Please describe your work as curator?
I curate independent group shows which often focus on challenging social norms. I curate shows with the ethos of asking questions about why modern society is the way it is. It seems we have come so far with technology, but not very far in knowing how to run a fair and equal society.
‘Standpoint’ oil on board, 74 x 154cm © Sarah Jeffries
Which painting would you choose for your living room and why?
At the moment I’m in love with David Hancock’s painting called ‘It’s a Glittery Prize Before Your Eyes (Dazzle)’, this watercolour on paper truly captivates me with all it’s exquisite detailing of teenage angst. It’s on show at The Point theatre’s Watch This Space Gallery in Hampshire, as part of a group show I’ve recently curated called Connect/Disconnect, other artists work include Cathy Lomax, Corinna Spencer, Michael Bartlett and Team Beswick & Pye.
Further details can be found on Sarah’s website at www.sarahjeffries.co.uk.