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  • Writer's picturesarahgoddardartist

May newsletter

Welcome to my newsletter, keeping you up-to-date with the latest from my studio. I had a wonderful time in April enjoying the Fragile With Attitude exhibition in the Great Oak Hall at Westonbirt. This exhibition was part of the ‘Re-Storying Landscape for Social Inclusion’ collaboration – a project led by Dr Sarah Bell at the University of Exeter in collaboration with Art Shape, Zoe Partington, Natural Inclusion and Westonbirt Arboretum. Having started work on this exhibition in the autumn last year, it was wonderful to see my work in situ alongside the artworks created by the other wonderful artists who were involved. If you were not able to make it to the exhibition, I have now added all the artworks, along with audio descriptions about them, to my website. These pieces are all also now for sale. You can also watch a video about the exhibition, created by Fastershire.

Silk Wood is a mixed-media (acrylic paint and collaged autumn leaves and birch bark) on MDF, which is over a metre wide, and thirty cm high.  This abstract painting is made up of fifteen vertical MDF panels of different widths arranged in a line. These panels alternate between being painted with acrylic pours, and being collages of autumn leaves and birch bark collected from Westonbirt arboretum, against a black background. The acrylic paintings and the leaves are all warm, glowing autumn colours moving from left to right in shades of browns, oranges, reds and golds.  Being comprised of both paint and natural elements in an alternating line, this artwork draws the viewer towards the painting, encouraging them to engage with the differences between the real and the imagined in the shapes and colours created.  These leaves were all collected in the autumn after they had fallen from trees within the arboretum. As leaves lose the green chlorophyll pigment that allows them to create energy, the other pigments within the leaves become apparent, bringing to light the wonderful colours of autumn. These leaves have been dropped from the tree, no longer useful to it to provide it with energy. However, they show exquisite colours and beauty in their fragility. This links to the idea of disabled people being marginalised and disenfranchised within society, with their talents, and what makes them each unique, often being dismissed.
Silk Wood

At the same time, I was quite sad to have reached the end of this project, as it was such a great experience to be a part of it. I have often felt like an imposter, as many of us do, whatever our field. But being a visually-impaired visual artist has felt contradictory and something I should hide. However, while working with other artists who face disabling barriers, I didn’t feel like the odd one out, having to explain access needs. This made me feel at ease, and freed me to concentrate on art from the start. Then throughout the project I came to further embrace my identity as a visually-impaired artist, and I believe that this has enabled me to create more authentic work. I am now building on this to create art that more closely reflects how I experience the natural world.

For the rest of this month, I am planning to spend some time with my sketchbook, rather than working on any large scale paintings at the moment. I am experimenting and thinking about different ways of portraying nature as I see it.

I (woman with shoulder-length blonde hair, wearing glasses) am smiling at the camera. I am standing in an art gallery with several landscape paintings on the walls behind me. My painting Breathe - Sunset is on the wall behind and above me.
Landscape curated exhibition launch party

On 7 May, I was delighted to attend the launch party for the Landscape curated exhibition at Sixteen Gallery in Cheltenham. I have a painting, Breathe: Sunset, included in this exhibition. It was fantastic to attend an in-person event, and to meet several of the other 50 artists whose work had been selected to appear in this show. So much of my work is inspired by nature and the landscape, and it is always inspiring to see how other artists interpret landscape in their own ways through a range of media.

Imperial Gardens, Cheltenham Saturday 18th June - Sunday 17th July 2022 Open Daily 10am-7.30pm Different artists each week FREE ADMISSION
Art in the Park

Looking forward to June, I will be taking part in Art in the Park in Cheltenham. I will be there during the second week, from June 26th to July 2nd. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good weather!

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