This is Sarah Duffield's first solo exhibition at Horsham Museum. Inspired by the Expressionist and post impressionist artists; Kandinsky’s and Van Gogh’s vivid use of colour to express emotion and movement, Sarah Duffield paints her emotional connection to a landscape rather than a photographic representation resulting in a colourful depiction of the South Downs landscape.
"I am lucky to live within the South Downs National Park and find the sweeping hills and farmed land make a beautiful subject for my work. I often wonder how my work might have developed differently if I had spent the past ten years living in a city. I like to paint “real” views, places people might recognise; although I must admit I am constantly surprised when people do. I work from sketches, photographs and memory - I often move or leave out hills and trees, I have yet to paint a pylon and very rarely include buildings in my paintings.
Often the way light is interacting with a landscape dictates the colours I use to describe it – morning light is pink and peach, the earth is often blue and cold while at Sunset the light is red or orange, grass is warmer and colours richer. People have a strong affinity with colour and often don’t realise how closely connected to emotion it is. When someone looks at one of my paintings they may recognise the place but feel the colour choices are wrong – what is a cool, calm, blue and purple place for me might be a warm, happy, yellow and green spot for them – I like that this stimulates a conversation, it forces people to think about colours and how they relate to emotion – “What colour is this place for you?”
I enjoy being outside and look for colour constantly; a red tree, yellow field, clouds turned purple in the setting sun. I’ve been told (quite affectionately I believe) that walking with me is similar to walking with a three-year-old: the constant stops to look at or point out something I believe no one else has seen, the running commentary that I keep up constantly and the joyful expressions when changing light or weather creates new landscapes from old. I like to think that my work encourages people to look differently, to find the shapes and the colours that are in the landscape all around us.
Meet the Artist - Sarah will be in the Art Gallery at Horsham Museum on 14 October, 12 noon - 3pm