Ed Saye

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Travellers' Palm, 2015 Oil on Canvas 91.5 X 66cm © Ed Saye
1975 (3), 2015 Oil on Panel 65 X 50cm © Ed Saye
Bleached, 2015 Oil on Panel 65 X 50cm © Ed Saye
Nightlight, 2015 Gouache on Paper 27.5 X 37.5 © Ed Saye
Experimental House, 2015 Gouache on Paper 27.5 X 37.5cm © Ed Saye
Lobby, 2015 Gouache on Paper 27.5 X 37.5cm © Ed Saye
Drop City, 2015 Gouache on Paper 32 X 51 © Ed Saye
Runners, 2015 Oil on Panel 180 X 120 © Ed Saye
Quick Facts
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