Sophie Saunders

The uncovered moment

27 May – 16 June 2024

The uncovered moment

A few years ago, Jenny & Penney at Bowen asked me to give them a few of my simple ‘little garden sketches’ for a post Covid group show called ‘a nod to nature.’

I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed making these very straightforward gestural works; and it reminded me that when I was in my early twenties at art school, my work had been very free, gutsy, textural and energetic. I frequently went out into the landscape to make loose, abbreviated sketches in charcoal and ink which then triggered off completely abstract paintings back in the studio.

However, following that time my practice naturally evolved to become quite minimalist and hard-edged for a very long time- in fact from about 1991until recently. I put myself under a sort of discipline where colour, light and shape were utilized in the service of my deep interest in conveying a sense of the spiritual; in fact, to make paintings as contemplative objects.

Recently I’ve been moved to allow a re-emergence in the painting of my intrinsic gestural and painterly nature, whilst maintaining my lifelong intent- to be honest and at one with the process to the extent to which I am able.

Now I have the courage to make the paintings I have always wanted to make.

In the temple of the ordinary.
In the sanctuary of the mundane.
In the holy heart of the uncovered moment.

– Jeff Foster

The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the heart-work on the images imprisoned within you.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

…How quietly, how surely
You approach the happy country,
The heart of stillness.
However young,
The seeker who sets out upon the way
Shines bright over the world.
Like the moon,
Come out from behind the clouds!
-Dhammapada, The Sayings of the Buddha (Thomas Byrom trans. P.102)

Sophie Saunders, May 2024