Approved: 16.08.2006

Sarah Kudirka

Artist, Consultant, Curator

Approved: 16.08.2006

Lives and works in Glasgow. Exhibiting since graduating in the ‘90s.
Project Ability Research Residency and one-day installation at Trongate103 in 2018.
Recently seen at Borders Art Fair 2020, Glasgow Contemporary Art Fair 2019 and ArtCarBoot Glasgow presented by Patricia Fleming Gallery. Latest show - a joint exhibition with Rowena Comrie SSA - 4 August to 3 Sept 2021 at South Block, 60 Osborne Street, Glasgow.

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      Artist Statement

      Lives and works in Glasgow. Exhibiting since graduating in the ‘90s.
      Project Ability Research Residency and one-day installation at Trongate103 in 2018.
      Recently seen at Borders Art Fair 2020, Glasgow Contemporary Art Fair 2019 and ArtCarBoot Glasgow presented by Patricia Fleming Gallery. Latest show - a joint exhibition with Rowena Comrie SSA - 4 August to 3 Sept 2021 at South Block, 60 Osborne Street, Glasgow.

      Kudirka’s work concerns the shapes and edges of stuff all around us from cities, buildings, and furniture to objects. Her work is distinctively low-tech – characterised by obliterated, incised, scratched, scraped, layered paint. She pulls things apart and builds them back up again iteratively. Her ‘trashed canvases’ bear the marks of violent intervention but to watch her working it is evidently a joyous process – noisy and fun – and the results have a tactile softness. Works in her Aug/Sept 2021 show on canvas, linen and surprisingly a metal table, mark her return to painting at bold scale (after a decade immersed in Polaroids) with the confidence to trash her work and get somewhere entirely new. 

      Sarah's bold semi-abstract work is made on canvas, often layered up over years and then scraped and scratched back resulting in Trashed Canvases; and she also makes tiny colour sketches over Instax (instant film) snaps.

       

      The artist had a decade-long affiliation with Arup, the built environment/engineering design firm, latterly as a creative consultant. As inhouse global artist, working with Sir John Sorrell, Sarah developed "The Penguin Pool" from concept to being a successful global events series in 15 major cities worldwide. At Arup she also devised and piloted her "Working Without a Brief" visual creativity training for designers and other staff.

      Sarah is experienced in public-realm art delivery planning and commissioning with clients such as Yorkshire Water and Tideway, developers, architects and local authorities. From 2009 to 2017 Sarah was a charity Board Member/Trustee of ACME Artists Studios in London. She is an elected council member of the Society of Scottish Artists and a member of the Scottish Contemporary Art Network.

      While Sarah does not term herself a disabled artist, she is partially-deaf.

      NB Until 2012, the artist was known as Sarah K. Davenport. Her degrees and early-career awards were gained under that name.

      CV & Education

      Born 1968, in England

      Qualifications

      • 1991 - MA in Sculpture Studies - distinction, The University of Leeds
      • 1990 - BA (hons) Fine Art - first class, The University of Leeds

      Sarah is perhaps best known for her artworks in oil and pencil over Polaroids, focusing on cities, but for many years her larger semi-abstract paintings explored the ideas around belonging(s) - that is not just the possessions we own, but how material culture is tied up with our attachment to places and people, to the past, our languages and family traditions. Across all that she does, Sarah focuses on everyday things; peripheral or seemingly inconsequential objects in the background of life happening. Painted words have long figured in Sarah's work as have recurrent furniture motifs.
       
      Sarah Kudirka (under her maiden name, Davenport) won a number of early career awards and has exhibited regularly since 1988. She has works in public, corporate and private collections in Austria, Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Spain, the UK and USA.

      Solo exhibitions:

      • 2017- When did you last look up? London Festival of Architecture, Whitechapel
      • 2017 - Berlin City Skies, Laura Lea Art & Design, London
      • 2015 - Paint + Polaroids, Canary Wharf Window Gallery, London
      • 2014 - City Skies, The Orange Tree, London
      • 2005 - Belongings, Toni Heath Gallery, London
      • 2001 - Fit and Proper, London Stock Exchange
      • 2000 - As Seen on TV, bbb Contemporary Art, London
      • 1998 - Vocabulary, Oliver J Benjamin, London
      • 1995 - Methodiz'd, Casson Gallery, Eastbourne
      • 1993 - Chairs and Stripes, Newlyn Gallery, West Yorkshire
      • 1992 - Country Seat, Lotherton Hall, Leeds City Art Galleries

      Group exhibitions:

      • 2019 - ARt CarBoot Sale, Glasgow
      • 2019 - Glasgow Contemporary Art Fair, Glasgow
      • 2018 - Into The City, Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk
      • 2017 - The Other Art Fair, London
      • 2016 - The Other Art Fair, London
      • 2015 - Introducing, Roseberys, London
      • 2015 - The Other Art Fair, London
      • 2013 - A Postcard From My Studio, Acme Project Space, London
      • 2005 to date, annually - Secret, Royal College of Art, London
      • 2002 - Size Matters, Stephen Lacey Gallery, London
      • 2001 - Larnaca Works Open, London
      • 2001 - Raw Canvas, London
      • 1999 - Artfutures, Contemporary Art Society, London
      • 1998 - Larnaca Studios, Whitechapel Open
      • 1995 - Wessex Open, Southampton City Art Gallery
      • 1994 - Christmas Show, CCA Galleries, Bath
      • 1993 - Young Artists South East, Folkestone Library Gallery
      • 1992 - Art For Sale, The Guardian/Whiteleys
      • 1992 - Young Artists South East, Maidstone Library Gallery
      • 1990 - New Graduates, Yorkshire Television Centre

      Projects:

      • Artist Research Residency at Project Ability, Glasgow, February 2018
      • Founder of The Penguin Pool events series for Arup, launched worldwide 2011
      • Public Art delivery plan consultancy for architects, developers and select clients
      • Board Member/Trustee of Acme Artists Studios Ltd (charity) from 2010 to 2017
      • Managed exhibitions, collection & acquisitions, Matrix Chambers, Gray's Inn
      • Director's Office assistant at Tate Modern, to Sir Nicholas Serota & Vicente Todoli
      • Compiled catalogue raisonne of Austin Wright, funded by The Henry Moore Sculpture Trust. Published in The Sculpture of Austin Wright, James Hamilton, 1994, Lund Humphries/The Henry Moore Foundation

      Awards:

      • The Passey Prize in Art, The University of Leeds 1990
      • Light in Art, finalist, The Prudential 1990
      • British Council Major Award 1990
      • Young Artists South East Purchase Prize, Kent Arts & Libraries 1991

      Memberships:

      Elected Council Member of the Society of Scottish Artists
      Member of Scottish Contemporary Art Network