Sally Sheinman admits to being a workaholic, becoming committed to long-term projects, which absorb her in the studio for months. Her meticulous detail is symptomatic of this obsession, working on painting after painting until she feels that her idea has been fully executed. Sally Sheinman’s current projects both touring exhibitions are Sacred Vessels and Days.
‘Sally Sheinman’s 49 sparkling drawings with a corresponding description that suggests the function of the substance carried in the vessel. These are potions and lotions that heal, ease or aid some ritual whether it be for allowing tolerance to flourish in society, aiding vivid dreams or arresting the ageing process. They are imaginary relics from a fictional past and place, but ones that seem to offer hope for the future.’ (Simon Webb)
For ‘Days’ Sally selected one event, emotion or sensation each day for a year of her life (Jan 01 - Jan 02). Each one is represented as a small, exquisitely painted box accompanied by a written thought. From floor to ceiling, she publicly lays out 365 days of her private life in the form of intimate images which trace the ups and downs of her day to day life. She develops a language of communication through words, patterns, textures and colour that suggest dinner with friends, bathroom tiles, the expectation of a holiday or the death of her mother. What do you paint to represent a life? What do you paint on September 11th?
‘Sally Sheinman’s studio is her world, her place to think. However, this space is not without structure. Sally’s former Wall Street life engendered a strong work ethic; keeping strict working hours. Her self-discipline is apparent in her projects and her preference for working in series. She finds freedom in creating multiple paintings and imposing structure on her work process. In a sense, like the planner diary, Sally’s working practice itself manages her daily activity in what otherwise might be regarded as an unstructured profession.’ (Kate Brindley and Annabel Longbourne)
In Sally’s conversation with Nikki Grange she explained where Sacred Vessels began. ‘Like all creative projects Sacred Vessels is a synthesis of ideas over time. There has always been a part of me that wanted to be an archaeologist, probably the result of seeing fantastic National Geographic Magazine picture when I was a child. When my son was little I made up a story about rain and a fantasy world Arcus (Latin for rainbow), I ‘d been toying with doing something with that story for a long time. When my mother died I felt a strong need for religion and then again after September 11. I adore reading the 1001 Arabian Night and perhaps they played a part in influencing Sacred Vessels. I also have travelled extensively in Morocco. All these thoughts played a part in Sacred Vessels and I feel we need to have something to nurture and care for us when we are constantly bombarded with bad news.’
Sally Sheinman is an American who grew up on a dairy farm close to the Canadian border and also worked on Wall Street. She received a BA degree from the State University of New York at Albany. She undertook postgraduate studies at Hunter College, New York City where her tutors included Tony Smith and Robert Morris. Sally has lived in Britain for the last 19 years; and is currently working in Northampton. She is a prolific painter and committed to a rigorous work schedule. Her recent exhibitions include Sacred Vessels (Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Rugby, 2003), Days (The Gallery, Stratford-upon-Avon, 2002), The Naming Room (Roadmender, Northampton, 2001), Fragments of Time and Thought (Liberty, London, 2000), Artjongg (University College Northampton 1999), Between the Lines (Ikon Touring, Birmingham 1997), New Work (City Gallery, Leicester, 1995). Sally has worked with Public Arts completing a commission for the new Arts Council England offices in Nottingham in 2003.