Sarah Graham’s work is uniquely beautiful. Her twisting, flowing, sensuous flower forms, executed with a restrained elegance yet a contemporary brio and layered with ravishing colour, have an echo of Isnik art. Some have an even more distant orient form which influences her pale delicate drawing, while others executed in bold chiaroscuro, recall Japanese ink paintings.
Here is an artist who knows her metier intimately and faultlessly, and who has studied her subject with diligence and devotion. Sarah’s paintings and drawings are a delight to the eye, mind and heart.
Sarah Graham brings the natural world before us with a clear, unorthodox eye. Form comes into being with subtly coloured ink blushes, washes, seepages and stains. Mottled pools puddle and soak into the paper, drying to make the volumes of a glossy leaf or petal or the convex thorax of a butterfly.
Squid-ink pools of darker brown-black map the stained-glass panel of an insect wing or an exoskeleton’s segments; iridescent pools mark out the patterns of a moth’s brown wing. Graphic, calligraphic dashes and delicate striations define sail-like butterfly-wing capillaries, bristling abdomen hairs, twiggy mayfly legs and proboscises.
Savage, robotic insects hum and probe between flower petals; the heavy handmade paper bulges, saturated with colour. Nature requires no further manifesto or explanation. Her pictures are – in essence – about wonder and strange pleasures, engaging the eye and mind.