Born in 1965, Sarah graduated with a degree in Fine Art and Education from Hatfield Polytechnic in1989.  She further studied traditional Chinese Sumi-e ink painting  under Prof Ding in Jiangxi China 2015-7.  She lives and works in London.

Sarah’s work is based on the premise that pigments carry their story, and that their story is our story of interconnectedness. Each piece of work is designed to be a space in which to fall, a space with which we make a personal connection.  Sarah is fascinated by this connection of our current lived life  to our history as people of transition and exchange.

Sarah’s work is concerned with the material trace of human interaction and trade, left by pigments globally across time.  Her work starts with a personal  event, moment or societal phenomenon in the now, which spurs a bout  of research into how pigments play out in  particular geographic or historic events. These events are chosen for their resonance with the now. The pigments used in a single collection are determined by the specificity of this research.

Sarah makes her own  paints from pigments.  She researches the history of pigments, and their material origins, as well as practical research into their properties when used in different painting media, including oil, acrylic, gum Arabic, casein and other binders.

My work takes the form of abstract spaces, spaces in which to lose yourself and to remember. I am indebted to Twentieth Century artists for the freedom to play in these colour fields – Rothko, Frankenthaler, Kandinsky, with their breakthroughs with colour as substance. I also feel indebted to the nameless Church painters of the Middle Ages for whom pigments had their own symbolism. And to Professor Ding, who taught me Chinese ink painting in Jiangxi, the legacy of which finds expression through my use of tone to create space.

Sarah is a full-time artist and regularly exhibits in the UK and overseas. Her work is held in private collections in UK, Australia, USA, the Middle East and Japan.

Harrogate Gallery, Sarah Needham, synthesis, I