Approved: 15.07.2010

Sarah Cooney


Approved: 15.07.2010

Artist Statement

My studio based work comprises oil on canvas paintings. Using subtle orchestrations of colour, texture, lyrical gesture and abstract and figurative elements the paintings translate atmospheres and moods that locate a sense of place. Forms emerge and evolve through the process of making and added flourishes are intended to invite closer inspection of the paintings’ surface. Painterly revisions accumulate on the canvas alongside traces of provisional marks rubbed away -in a process of sense making.

I am interested in investing in the nature of painting as its own legitimate subject matter and think about the types of attitude an abstract painting can incite, its timeliness in relation to other current modes of art making and its continued possibilities beyond the histories that inform it. Painting is by nature inconclusive. In the provisional approaches to applying paint, workings and re workings, the shifts and changes along the way; for me, the crux of painting always resides in the indeterminate space between an initial idea and a pictorial emergence and how the discrepancy between the two might be negotiated. 

CV & Education


2006-2008   MA Painting, Royal College of Art, London

2002-2005   BA (hons) Fine Art, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne


Selected Exhibitions

2019 Legacy: 50 Years of Painting in the Tees Valley, The Auxiliary, Middlesbrough

2019 Creekside Open (Selected by Brian Griffiths) APT Gallery, London

2018 Beep Painting Prize Exhibition, Swansea College of Art, Wales

2018 Stockton Contemporary, Stockton-on-Tees, UK

2017 Colour Code, Cupola Contemporary Art, Sheffield, UK

2017 Middlesbrough Art Weekender, Middlesbrough, UK

2016  Tell Her Story, Crown Street Gallery, Darlington 

2016  Making a Scene (collaboration with Cristina Cojanu), NN Contemporary Art, Project Space Northampton, UK

2015   Mud, Oil and Plastic, Mother Studios Project Space, London, UK

2014   The Trouble with Painting Today, Pump House Gallery, London, UK

2013   Painting Parade, LeandaKateLouise, London, UK

2013   Copy, Paper Gallery, Manchester, UK

2011   Dialogues 10th International Biennial of Contemporary Art, The Central Exhibition Hall. Menege, St Petersburg, Russia

2011   Galleria Regresso, Memorial Do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

2010   Nothing Gold Can Stay (curated by Nina Trivedi), 3YE, London, UK

2010   Hats Berlin, Smartloft Apartments and Art, Berlin, DE

2009   Pale Blue and Green (two person show with Jess Flood-Paddock), Permanent Gallery, Brighton, UK

2009   Pretty Deep (inside your head), Royal Standard, Liverpool, UK

2008   Winter Salon, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

2006   Spent, Three Colts Gallery, London, UK



2009/10 Smartloft Apartments and Art, Berlin, DE

2005/06 Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre, North Uist



2016   Studio Bursary, Navigator North, Middlesbrough

2011   shortlisted for Abbey Fellowship, British School at Rome

2010   Fringe MK Painting Prize shortlist (included in catalogue selected by Anthony Spira, Stephen Snoddy, Andy Harper, Sally Annett)

2008   Hugh Dunn Award, Worshipful Company of Painter Stainers/Royal College of Art

2006   Greater London Area NAFDAS Bursary Award

2005   Graduate Painting Fellowship, Northumbria University

2005   John Crisp Painting Prize



2017   Panel Discussion, 'Conversations in Painting', Platform A Gallery, Middlesbrough, UK

2009   Panel Discussion, The Royal Standard, Liverpool, UK

2008   Visiting Artist Lecture, Glasgow School of Art



2017  Conversations in Painting (ACE funded)

2013   Devonshires Developing Artists with Wallspace in the Workplace, London

2009   Young and Emerging Artists Charity Auction, Special Yoga Centre, London, UK