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Sarah Longworth-West

Lecturer, Fine Art

Sarah Longworth-West is a lecturer on BA (Hons) Fine Art who joined Norwich University of the Arts in 2013. She is a practicing painter who completed her postgraduate in Painting at The Slade School of Art, UCL (2006-08). She tutors across the year groups on the Fine Art course alongside a main role of running and collaborating upon the painting workshops and drawing workshops.

Recent panel paintings have focused on creating dystopian non-spaces that are hard to locate but give an overall atmosphere of a place in which figures, or remnants of them, occasionally inhabit. I am interested in the ideas surrounding ruins and the ruinous, pursuing this line of enquiry through painting; playing with boundaries of recognisable forms and spaces, while clearly referencing painting’s art history.

Figures in my work are present through their absence and it is this ambiguity and implication of figure or form which often gives momentum to the paintings’ construction. I am interested in the interplay of representation and abstraction.

Assimilating contemporary printed media as source material, I work as a visual archivist recording selected images through drawing. These drawings are manipulated to expose choice sections or abstracted elements to form the top layer of a painting activating the surface of pigmented grounds, which overall relate to concerns surrounding order and disorder.

I am interested in the intricacies and incidental qualities of the materiality of paint and make traditional handmade gesso for my painting by adding pigment, or overlapping gesso painted layers to fuse colour. I sand these layers to a smooth finish which, when inspected close up, reveals flaws and a visually unpredictable surface. Concerns surrounding both issues of display and the prospective relationships between 2D and 3D painted works are also an area of current investigation. More of Sarah’s work is available to view on her website.

Sarah is a member of the Pattern and Chaos group of collaborative, interactive and networking designers, artists, theorists and innovators in education, all of whom are based at Norwich University of the Arts.

Selected Group and Solo Exhibitions

  • 2020: Twenty Twenty Women, Artistellar virtual exhibition, curated by Adele Smejkal*
  • 2019: WIMMIN II, Art Licks Weekend Space, London
  • 2019: Cabin Baggage, print portfolio, Norwich University of the Arts gallery, UK
  • 2018: Fully Awake, Dyson Gallery, (RCA) London*
  • 2017: Merge Visible curated by Charley Peters, Contemporary British Painting, London*
  • 2017: Painting [Now] , Studio One Gallery, London
  • 2017: Mother, Bruton Art Factory, Somerset, UK
  • 2016: The Garden of Forking Paths, Lewisham Art House, London
  • 2015: East/West, IMPACT 9 International Print, China Academy of Arts, Hangzhou, China
  • 2015: hundreds and thousands, Lubomirov / Angus Hughes, London
  • 2015: A5, Lubomirov-Easton, Platform Projects @ Art-Athina, Athens, Greece
  • 2014: Remnants, Aldeburgh LOOKOUT, Suffolk, UK (Solo exhibition)
  • 2014: The Trouble with Painting Today, curated by Hannah Conroy, Pump House Gallery, London*
  • 2013: Print/Paint, Woburn Centre, UCL, London
  • 2013: Secret Histories, Sluice Art Fair, London *
  • 2013: Q-Art exhibition, APT Gallery, London
  • 2013: Aniamamus: A Living Gallery, Coohaus, Chelsea, New York, USA
  • 2012: Recline, LEDGE, London (Solo exhibition)
  • 2012: Temporary Surfaces, duo-show with Sarah Bowker-Jones, Surface Gallery, Nottingham (Two person collaborative exhibition) *
  • 2012: Crash Open Salon, Charlie Dutton Gallery, London. Selectors Matthew Collings & Ceri Hand
  • 2012: LDN/BCN, Untitled Gallery, Barcelona, Spain       
  • 2012: Angelika Open, High Wycombe Selected by Rod Barton, Boo Ritson and Danny Rolph
  • 2012: The Hearing Trumpet, West Dean – The Edward James Foundation, Chichester *
  • 2012: Bite Artists making prints, Mall Galleries, London *
  • 2012: WW Solo Award Group, London * Selectors Sheila McGregor (Axis), Helen Sumpter (Time Out) 
  • 2012: ALAS Residency Exhibition, Matt Roberts Arts, London *
  • 2011: Core gallery in conjunction with the Deptford X Visual Arts Festival, London. Selectors Fiona Macdonald (Standpoint Gallery), Alli Sharma, and Sarah Williams (Jerwood Space)
  • 2011: Drawing Connections, Siena Art Institute, Italy
  • 2010: Everyone’s looking at ME, KUBE, Poole (Solo exhibition)*
  • 2010: A Tender Cut, Fold Gallery, London
  • 2010: FringeMK Annual Painting Prize, Milton Keynes *
  • 2010: Print Now, Bearspace, London. Toured to London Art Fair 2010, Art Projects
  • 2009: Sold Out, Globe City Gallery, Newcastle
  • 2009: If it’s HOT, it’s HERE, Annuale, Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh

Other Activities

  • 2016: Publication Teaching Painting: how can painting be taught at art schools? (eds) Hartshorne, I., Moloney, D. and Quaife, M. ‘How can we teaching painting to students who already think they know what painting is? Horton, S. and Longworth-West, S. UK: Black Dog Publishing.
  • 2015: Research Paper, ‘How to teach painting to students who already think they know what painting is?’ at ‘Teaching Painting’, October 2015, Manchester School of Art in partnership with the Whitworth Gallery
  • Since 2013: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy     
  • Since 2011: Member of the Institute For Learning