Sara Willett graduated from Camberwell College of Art, London, with a first class BA (Hons) in Painting in 2002, and later gained a Masters in Fine Art there, graduating in 2011. She has been awarded several fully supported residencies: at Da Wang Culture Highland in China in 2013 and 2015, the first of which culminated in a solo exhibition, China Web, and at Being 3 Art Gallery in Beijing in 2016.
Sara creates detailed, multi-layered, fragmented surfaces through which she aims to investigate perception and illusion. The triangular or circular forms that swarm across her paintings, which she either gouges out of the layers or applies thickly to the surface, evolve gradually over time. The process consists of both systematic repetition and reflective experience. The results – which act as a record of the temporal activity, tracing its rhythms and movements – are never entirely predictable or envisaged.
Sara explores the pictorial surface and space as a platform for metamorphosis, transformation and evolution. Her paintings often have a playful element, hovering between abstract and representational. The imagery is sourced from a diverse variety of influences including fabrics, mosaics, Chinese landscape painting, Flemish primitive painting, micro/macro biology, sci-fi and pseudo science, as well as referencing traditional domestic and quotidian crafts. Sara is also interested in the potential of the decorative itself to act as a disruptive or unsettling force.
Sara exhibits regularly in the UK, Europe and Japan, including, in 2015, in a solo show, Spectre, at Curious Projects in Eastbourne and in the Creekside Open at the APT Gallery in London. Sara’s work is held in collections in the UK, USA, Australia, Japan and Europe. She has been commissioned to create work on many occasions, including for Deptford X, London’s longest running contemporary art festival.
In 2017 a selection of Sara's work from her latest residency in China was shortlisted for the Sunny International Art Prize.
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