Sarah Yockney SGFA


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I have always drawn. I always could and always did. Growing up, I took art for granted, as it was all around me. I was surrounded by family and friends who were gifted sculptors, painters or simply art lovers. As a child I was encouraged to make art, even to paint on my bedroom walls, and I grew up with The Nude, not only from life drawing classes, but also because my father was the chairman of a naturist club nestled in the heart of leafy Surrey! My mother was Danish, so every summer was spent on the little island of Fuur in the Limfjord.

I did a foundation year at Camberwell School of Art, but although I was offered a place on the degree course, I was unhappy and left. I was restless and passionately ready for adventure. When I was 19 I met a Brazilian who was doing his Ph.D in Southampton, so that was where I did my Dip.AD.

I lived in Brazil for 12 years. I continued to paint, but to ensure a guaranteed income I established my own peripatetic language business in Brasilia. My legacy to Brazil was helping to set up and build a school in the wild interior of Goias in my final three years there. Brazil’s legacy to me was myriad rich experiences, memories and wonderful friends.

Creativity can take many forms. Besides drawing and painting, I have channelled my artistic energies and my love of nature into creating beautiful gardens wherever I have lived. For the last eight years I have lived in Pembury, Kent. When the youngest of my three daughters left home, I was finally able to focus my attention on my art. I walk daily through the surrounding fields, orchards and woods with my two Flat-coats, observing and recording. I have my best thoughts when I walk. Walking frees my mind and unlocks my creativity and I try to practise the Zen of truly seeing.

A few years ago I was sailing around Fuur, where I have now bought an old farmhouse, and I had the idea to paint on silk. I felt only silk would be able to capture the light where the sky and the sea meld into one with no visible horizon. I have been painting on silk ever since, and love the adventure that I experience with this challenging medium. In the last couple of years I have been developing a method using silk collage to achieve finer detail in my drawing.

My subject matter is drawn from the world around me wherever I am, whatever I am doing or whoever I am with. And yet, though I might at the moment be painting the Kentish cob-nut groves, I hope you can detect in my work the exotic tropical colours of Brazil as well as the cool translucency of the Danish light. I hope that more than just mere representation, my life experiences inform my work and afford it a meaning beyond that of mere decoration.