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Ed Saye

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Lives in

Works in


slade, 2009, MFA


Each painting is a different version of a fading idyll, a lament for the utopian ideals Modernism.  The paintings represent shadowy people, places and things as fragments of fictions and memories.  These are happy people in happy places – almost.  Idyllic scenes are rendered uncanny by unnatural light emanating from layers of under-painting and a colour palette that makes reference to the faded hues of old photographs and postcards.


I use painting to challenge the disposability of imagery in the digital age.  The paintings are made slowly, built up in layers on a smooth, absorbent, gesso ground.  The intense, often warm, colour of the under-painting dictates the mood.  Subsequent layers involve transparent glazes and finally thicker applications of impasto painting, which draw attention to the surface of the painting.  I allow the image to dissolve into intricate pattern and abstraction; figures become lost in deep shadow; detail is erased – literally sanded out of the paintings. Through this process the relationship of the image to its photographic sources diminishes and the image assumes a new identity as a painting that offers new narratives and multiple interpretations.

Lives and works in London

2007-2009            Slade School of Fine Art, London, MFA Painting

2005-2007            Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, Foundation Diploma

1996-2000            Durham University, BA Hons Modern Languages




2014                        KWT Open Studios 2014, Kingsgate Workshops Trust, London

2013                        Isolation Room, curated by Daniel McGrath, Copenhagen

2013                        This Glitch, curated by Lee marshall, Blythe Gallery, London

2013                        Creekside Open selected by Paul Noble, A.P.T. Gallery, London

2013                        The Big Egg Hunt for Action for Children, London/UK Touring

2012                        The Other Art Fair, Ambika P3, London

2010                        Grammar See, Rod Barton Gallery, London

2009                        Lead Slugs and Blank Spaces, Museum 52, London

                    Graduate Degree Show, Slade School of Fine Art, London

                                Anger Management, Will Alsop Space, Battersea, London

2008                        Interim Show, Slade School of Fine Art, London

                                Edge to Edge, Slade Research Centre, Woburn Square, London




2008                        Poznan Academy of Fine Arts, Skoki, Poland




2011                        Studio Paintings, 2011, Self-published, UK
2010                        Furniture Drawings, 2010, Self-published, UK

2009                        Sheraton Sofa, 2009, Self-published, UK

                    Slade Painting 2008, Slade Publication, UK

2008                        Look Book, 2008, Self-published, UK

                    Edge to Edge, 2008, Slade Publication, UK

                                Rhubarb, 2008, Slade Publication, UK

                                Paint to Print, 2008, Slade Publication, UK

2007                        20 Hoxton Square Newspaper, 2007, UK

Recent Exhibits

Ed Saye participated in these exhibits:

May, 2013 Creekside Open 2013
APT Gallery
Nov, 2012 November 2012
The Other Art Fair
May, 2010 Grammar See
Rod Barton
Jul, 2009 Lead Slugs and Blank Spaces
Museum 52
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