We are pleased to present Ultramarine, an exhibition of water paintings by Sarah Harvey.
Sarah’s paintings tap into a deep connection that we have with water. Through an almost hyper-realist approach she captures the water’s hypnotic fluidity, along with the suggestion of unexplored depths that might lie beneath its surface. This sense of a mysterious element in constant flux is the perfect place for memories and emotions to be let loose, where they can become encrypted in colour and light. Sarah’s paintings are all about this process: about our emotional affinity with the unknown.
Sarah appears in most of her paintings. In her recent works, however, she has increasingly focused on the abstracting nature of water, where the figure dissolves and disappears, or blurs into indistinctness. In these paintings figures are only suggestions, and fleeting ones at that; rather than being portraits, they serve more as imaginative prompts to lure any viewer into the pool. They could, in essence, be anyone.
The play between definition and ambiguity is carried through on many layers in Sarah’s work, right down to the painted objects themselves. They are faithful renderings of her source materials – arrangements of photographs that capture the water in motion – but there is big difference between the two. While photography may document the liquid, it is only through Sarah’s distinctive handling of paint, light and colour that the paintings gain their lustre and glow. This personal touch is what triggers the sense of escape.