Sarah Needham

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Phoenix Egg, 2016 Gold Leaf, Nutmeg, Steel Plaster, Specimin Jar 20x30cm © Sarah Needham
Phoenix Egg, 2016 Gold Leaf, Nutmeg, Plaster, Glass Bamboo 20x30cm © Sarah Needham
Olaudah 1 (sold), 2016 Oil Indigo And Sugar On Board 20x20cm © Sarah Needham
she walks slowly into the Leith without a boat man to guide her across, 2016 Indigo And Oil On Canvas 100 X 100 X 4.5 Centimeters © Sarah Needham
Lost girl, 2016 Indigo And Oil On Canvas 100 X 100 X 4.5cm Centimeters © Sarah Needham
Mr Equiano's Scales, 2016 Cast Iron Scales, Indigo, Sugar, Gold Leaf, Varnish, Transparencies 37x20x20cm © Sarah Needham
Lost Girl: Looking for Harry SOLD, 2016 Hand Mixed Oils On Canvas 100cmx100cm
Yellow Ochre Light, 2018 Oil On Canvas 60x60x4cm © Sarah Needham
Mars Red, 2017 Hand Mixed Oil On Canvas 100x100x4cm © Sarah Needham
Quick Facts
Birth year
Lives in
Works in
Hatfield Polytechnic, 1989, Art and Education
Southbank University, 1993, MSc Development Studies
Jiangxi Normal University, 1997, Traditional Chinese Painting
Artist Statement

Artist Statement

My work is engaged with the interconnected  effects of trade, people, place, story and memory on identity.  Using Indigo and other traditional pigments I create abstract images which resonate with forgotten stories, creating spaces to remember.

The indigo series use fair traded indigo as the pigment of choice. Both because of its amazing and slightly unpredictable capacity for colour variations and interaction with oil painting media and because of the  history of indigo in international trade which reaches back to classical times.

The Lost girl series are a meditation on the role of memory, lost story and identity within the context of contemporary society and use traditional media to link back to the history of art, mark-making and what it means to be human.
In the past my work started with a narrative and through the process of creating a single work, or a series of works that narrative was distilled.  So what happens when the narrative is disappearing?  When the central character of the story is experiencing a process of disintegration?  There is a risk in that  becoming the narrative itself. This is the theme of the Lost Girl series of works, and those using the Thames as an icon for the Lethe. 

Influenced by personal experience of a close relative suffering dementia and the feeling of disintegration of cultural norms within the context of an increasingly fractured world, the role of memory in the formation of identity has become the focus of examination.  And creating spaces that allow us to acknowledge our intercultural experiences and links is essential.  

 My current work is operating in the space in between, creating space for stories and memories,  stories related to place and economic and social change.  I engage with what it means to remember, to be remembered and to forget and be forgotten, with transience and permanence.

Coming Up 2018

Roy's People Art Fair, Barge House, Oxo Tower Wharf, London 12-15 April 2018

The London Open 2018, digital showing of "ICI" on screen at Whitechapel for duration of the show

East Finchley Open Artist's Houses, July 2018

Deptford, Copper and Cobalt Solo Exhibition, No format gallery,  November 2018

Exhibitions and Fairs 2017-8


"Trace Elements", three person show, and in conversation with Rosalind Davis event at Deptford does Art, 26 Deptford Hgh St London

SFSA PAinting Open, No format Gallery, Deptford December 2017

Roy's People Art Fair, Islington, London 14-17 September

Art Fair Malaga, Congress of Malaga, Spain 30June-3July

Creekside Open 2017, 4-28 May, APT Gallery, Creekside, Deptford, London SE8 4SA Selected by Jordan Baseman

The Talented Art Fair, Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane 17,18,19 March 2017

Exhibitions 2016

The Thames: THe ARTery of London, Devon House, St Katharine Docks, London E1 4-18 December

Sugar and Spice, Group Show Plastic Propaganda, 1st floor Commodity Quay, St Katherine's Dock, London E1 24 August-4th September 2016

Public symposium: Both Ends of Madness, Sassoon Gallery, Folkestone.     6-8pm 21st July

2016 Both ends of Madness, Sassoon Gallery, Folkestone until 22 July 2016

2016 Open Art Studios: Kensington and Fulham Open Art Spaces, hosted by Faron Sutaria, Fulham 24 June-3rd July

2016 Nautical Perspectives, Group Show Plastic Propaganda, 1st floor Commodity Quay, St Katherine's Dock, London E1 1st-15th May 2016


2015 Open Art Spaces, Kensington and Fulham, Faron Sutaria, Fulham and Place and Proximity, Austin Forum 9-18October, London UK

2015 Refuse Reuse Pocketarts group show, Kensington   London, UK

2014 Microtopia, Kingsgate Workshops, West Hampstead, London UK

2013 Microtopia, Kingsgate Workshops West Hampstead, London UK

Community Art projects:

2017-19 Corby Glenn project including local research, memory recordings, school workshop and an interactive installation within the exhibition

2015 Story collecting: Place and Proximity interactive Artist talk, as part of Open Art Spaces, Hammersmith, London UK

2015: Story Collecting at 10 Grand Arcade, North Finchley x2 June  London UK

2006-9 Splat Messy Play: parent/carer and toddler art group using multi media recycled materials, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, UK

2008 Art Week Artist: Massive junk modellling workshops with children 3 to 8, Parent group: Importance of Messy Play, London,UK


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