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Sarah Pickstone: The W
riters Series 6 April - 12 May 2013
Sarah Pickstone, Silvia, 2010, oil and acrylic on canvas
Sarah Pickstone: The Writers Series
6 April - 12 May 2013

PRESS PREVIEW: Saturday 6 April 2013.  Free bus from London departing Tate Britain, Millbank at 10 a.m. and leaving Roche Court at 3 p.m. Seats are limited. Please contact the New Art Centre to reserve a place.  For further information about the exhibition and for images, please contact Stephen Feeke on 01980 862244 or nac@sculpture.uk.com.

The New Art Centre is delighted to announce the first solo exhibition by Sarah Pickstone since she won the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize in 2012< /strong>.  For a number of years, Pickstone’s work has explored the ways in which figures, places and ideas meet.  She has, in particular, found inspiration in the many writers associated with Regent’s Park in London at different times throughout history, from George Eliot, Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield to Sylvia Plath and Stevie Smith.  This interest has culminated in the paintings in The Writers Series, which are shown together in the Gallery at Roche Court.

Pickstone considers the importance of Regent’s Park as either an actual presence in fiction or as a background to various writers’ lives. However she does not represent the reality of the Park in her paintings, nor does she illustrate the writers’ lives or scenes from their books.  Instead Pickstone evokes the atmosphere of the Park as a magical place which blends together public, private, external and psychological worlds. So whilst writers and the Park are her subject matter, Pickstone’s overriding interest is in human connections, the forces of the natural world, memory and imagination

As the writer Ali Smith has written, Sarah Pickstone’s paintings question how we actually define imagery.  Is an image a visual thought? And what would thought look like, if we could see it?

Sarah Pickstone’s park pictures are a versatile and liberating act, a meld of vision and thought come together into an embodiment of both.  They take what we think we recognise or already know – landscape, portrait – and by means of fusion and metamorphosis redefine and revitalise both. Her device, an investigation of the image of the writer in nature, particularly of the writers who've happened to pass through one particular green London landscape over the course of several centu ries, or of one green landscape through which so much cultural thought, invention and creativity has by both chance and design passed, actually banishes time, redraws notions of fertility and uncircumscribes fixity of both image and expectation.

Sarah Pickstone lives and works in London.  She studied at the Royal Academy Schools and subsequently won a scholarship to the British School at Rome.  The Writers Series is her first exhibition with the New Art Centre. 

Sarah Pickstone and Ali Smith will be in conversation at Roche Court on Monday 3 June, as part of the Salisbury International Arts Festival.  Tickets are available from www.salisburyfestival.co.uk.

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