We caught up with Sarah this week before the release of her stunning new prints for a quick Q&A.  

Sarah Woods Art - North Coast Asylum - Cornish Art Gallery

NCA: Sarah, you’re originally from up north, specifically Liverpool! What brought you to Cornwall and what made you stay?

SW: I was drawn to Cornwall by the vast and changing landscape - there’s a feeling of freedom and openness here that’s not so easy to find inland. The coastline influences most of my work and the studio acts as a base to unravel my experiences and journeys. I can’t imagine anywhere I’d rather be working.

Sarah Woods - North Coast Asylum - Cornwall Art Gallery

NCA: Your works have two very distinct styles yet complement each other beautifully. Tell us how you ended up landing on these approaches?

SW: With a drawing or print I’m often exploring the repetition of line and tone through detailed and considered mark-making. My paintings express the energy and immediacy of being in the landscape, the movement of water or the excitement of changing colours across the land. By observing these different elements and working simultaneously on paintings and prints there’s a balance created in the studio - an outlet that fulfils both areas of expression. Without one, the other part of my practice would feel too concentrated and confined.

Sarah Woods - Cornwall Art Gallery - NorthCoastAsylum.com

NCA: Who and what inspire you?

SW: For me, inspiration comes from a journey, a book or a friend. I’m currently reading something on the works and writings of Agnes Martin, which touches on her relationship with the landscape and how she translates this into very abstract and minimal paintings. I’m inspired by the simple and balanced lifestyle of living in a van and how this influences my approach to drawing and painting. The journeys I take along the coast influence my work and encourage an exciting process of experiencing, gathering and responding. The people around me are always an inspiration - I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many creative minds.

NCA: As we enter autumn do you find your works change with the seasons?

There’s definitely a shift in my paintings as one season leads into the next, a change in colour but also movement and feeling. Being by the coast throughout the year the elements are naturally changing and enhanced at different stages. The light colours of spring often reflect the energy of new life and as the days become shorter into winter there is a feeling of comfort in the darker skies.

Sarah Woods - NorthCoastAsylum.com - Cornish Art Gallery

5. Finally, what are your studio essentials?

Aside from the usual materials, paints and pencils I have a small handful of paintbrushes from Norway that I’d be lost without. It’s essential for the studio to feel calm and positive so I tend to keep the space simple. There are always sketchbooks to hand and the windowsills are filled with plants.

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