Meet Sharon Drew, view the exhibition and discuss the works. Also see sketchbook studies - watercolours and drawings of the River Thames and coast. Additional small paintings and monoprints will also be available to view and purchase during this event.
Artist Sharon Drew completed her Fine Art MA at University of the Arts London (UAL) Central Saint Martins, where she is now a mentor to degree students. Sharon was Artist-in-Residence at the Thames-side location of Trinity Buoy Wharf, London Docklands where she explored the sensation of movement. We invited Sharon to exhibit these paintings at The Place and offer the opportunity to consider and reflect upon movement through the medium of paint.
Filmmaker Joshua Richards previously interviewed Sharon, making a short film which is showing in the exhibition. Here is an extract from that conversation:
JR: Can you talk more about your approach to abstract painting and the importance of it being process orientated?
SD: I mostly work in acrylics, diluting these paints to a ‘gloopy’ or fluid state and enjoy the possibilities within this range. Much of the time my work is instinctive, spontaneous, in-the-moment … so tends to require fast decision-making. I am concerned with an overall interrelation of parts rather than painstaking detail of small areas.
I tend to create a process which is particular to each series so that there is a strong element of repetition. In this way I build up a rhythm and pace to the work. This is important as each layer of the painting is carried out quickly and requires momentum to be successful.
JR: How does your work develop?
SD: My studio work is very much an evolution from one painting to another … that has its roots in landscape. I will look at a previous painting or several paintings and decide how to expand and develop the work from there. I always work in a series – maybe four or six paintings at any one time. A dialogue evolves between them and it is possible to see how the strengths in one can inform another.
JR: Can you talk more about the relationship between light, space and colour in your work?
SD: Our brains register colour before we recognise any forms, and to this we respond emotionally. Emotions come before any rational thought .… these are primative, instinctive responses that abstract painting can trigger.
Painting is an illusionistic space. How extraordinary that a piece of canvas, a flat 2-dimensional surface, can appear to have infinite space when applied with colour and light … these are the magical and transformative qualities of paint.
JR: Can you explain how your style varies from the more naturalistic, such as on location in sketchbooks and impressionistic/abstract, once you have settled back into your studio?
SD: Working outside can be exhilarating, but also very restrictive in terms of scale and working from observation, so I can find there is a sense of release when coming back to my studio to paint on large-scale canvases in an intuitive, instinctual way.
In the studio I am improvising all the time – a very different activity which leads me into an abstract world of my own. The discipline of working from observation out in the landscape, helps me reconnect with the world. It is very grounding, bringing me back to reality and hopefully introduces a rigour into the work.
See the exhibition event page here: https://www.theplace.org.uk/whats-on/exhibition-sharon-drew-motion