Sarah Cunningham (1993) is a British artist living and working in London. She is a recipient of the Ali. H Alkazzi Scholarship Award 2019 – 2022. In 2019, Sarah was selected for a research residency living with the Kuna community in the indigenous province of Guna Yala, Panama with La Wayaka Current. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she recently had her first solo presentation, ‘In Its Daybreak, Rising’ with Almine Rech gallery in New York.
"I made it up here on this bridge between starshine and clay
My one hand holding tight, my other hand; come celebrate with me
That everyday something has tried to kill me
And has failed."
Medium:Oil on hand stitched linen, canvas, calico, flax and hardwood
Size:250 x 350 cm
How do we articulate our emotions in such intense times? Not in solitude but in bond.
Medium:Oil paint on linen
Size:200 x 600 cm
Medium:Oil on canvas
Size:180 x 240 cm
Medium:Oil on linen
Size:180 x 200 cm
Medium:Oil on linen
Size:200 x 180 cm
Paint behaves like it is an organic material, like water pouring down a wall, a water fall or rain. It has a fluidity that most other mediums do not have. I often describe the act of painting as "wild swimming" or "free diving" with the body as much as the mind. There is a sensitivity towards landscape structures and botanical life, a fragmented interplay of light, earth, sky and water that channels through the work. The way that paint acts on a surface is treated as a thought process that grows.
Ultimately, I have been exploring ones relationship with facture, mark and touch and considering this call and response. There are altered levels of pace, control and distance and a variety of application methods that mirror nature's daily rhythms. No painting is made without the day and night, the force of our unknown narratives.
Found imageries, myths, dream sequences, literature and light phenomena in film photography are certain aspects that I am interested in. The forest is a recurring metaphor and a point of reference for the richness of these relationships and layers, both in my paintings and the inner workings of the studio itself. I use these references like a repository, things sit there, sometimes percolate for months, sometimes years. This is a questioning that I am having with myself, a way of processing my life, both awake and unconscious. It is a finding out, an excavation: why is this place so potent? Why is this dream recurring?
-Sarah Cunningham, 2022