Born in London in 1981, Sarah Harvey studied at both Chelsea School of Art and Newcastle University before graduating in 2004. Characterised by dancing figures floating in ripples of blue, Sarah’s paintings are vast in scale and effect. Sarah was first drawn to capturing women in water after a trip to Italy which has since influenced much of her work. Intrigued by the aesthetic interplay between light and colour, Sarah employs a realist approach to explore themes of sexuality, identity and insecurity.
Sarah’s paintings combine playfulness with intimacy; they draw us in whilst enveloping the figure in blankets of translucent crystal blues. Her paintings straddle between an underwater and overwater lens, making way for a style that merges realism with abstraction. Alongside the likes of Reisha Perlmutter, Sarah paves the way for a new understanding of woman’s relationship with water. The female body is reimagined in water’s intimate setting and evokes feelings of vulnerability, sensuality and ultimate freedom.
After graduating in 2004, Sarah quickly established herself globally, showing in exhibitions across the UK, as well as in the US, Canada, Australia and Korea to name a few. Her solo shows have displayed the ever-developing dramatism of her work, with her ‘The Pleasure Principle’ show being regarded as one of her most dynamic collections to date. Showcasing work such as Falling Pleasure, the exhibition brought underlying themes of sexuality, power and desire right to the forefront. The show, ‘60% Water’ followed just three years later and really honed in on the body’s relationship with water.
You can read more about Sarah’s process of capturing the intimacy of the underwater world as we explore the artist’s examination of light, emotion and the body.