Viewing single post of blog Sarah West a-n Re:view Process

Post 7

Hilary Crisp – 22/May/2014

On arriving, Hilary had really usefully pre-planned and researched my on-line presence and website, making notes with suggestions and tips.

When talking and discussing the work I found that having already discussed the work literally the day before with another mentor had warmed me up and in the time between I, as we all do, reflected on how I could improve my articulation of the work and overarching ideas. Therefore, after giving Hilary a brief intro into the work picking out  pieces we started discussing individual works leading onto her overall impressions, in detail.

Hilary had thought carefully what the bursary was about inclusive of my aims which I had spoken to her before the session. Consequently, we discussed how the session would be of most use with her explicitly expressing the desire to be as honest as possible – this is exactly what I want and need; so I was extremely enthused by her delivery.

Whilst looking at the studio set up of works Hilary came across an indirect pairing; Vivid potentially hanging coupled with a newly prepped A1 board – which had been gessoed with 4 colours, layered, then sanded back to produce a mottled look. This prompted us to talk about presence through absence, which is something I aim for and is implicit within my editing of images, translation with paint and the constructed gesso surfaces themselves. Hilary suggested this pairing to give a breadth to a hang, which I definitely agree with. I think this could have a strong impact, especially due to the shift in scale between the smaller A3 work and the larger A1. Individually, she really liked these paintings and if together she said she couldn’t fault them and that this would be a possible curatorial decision she would work with in her gallery.

Vivid. Oil paint, spray paint, oil bar and oil pastle on pigmented gesso panel 42 x 30 cm Sarah West


As part of my practice I make drawings directly from the source material I collate. These act essentially as tools or annotations of ideas and images which I apply a strong filtering system to before considering to use in any for potential paintings. My approach is gentle and intuitive at this drawing stage and even though I am selective in the images I choose to spend time with there are still 100’s of them in a batch which could span 5-6 months. Hilary wanted to go through the latest ones which I had recently scanned for the archive. She commented on how I knew my process and seemed quite enamoured by them and understood how they act as tools whilst also questioning if and how they could be of further use; which I have also questioned at certain times myself.

Through Hilary’s openness in discussing the works I learnt explicitly what she was and wasn’t interested in within the paintings. Overall, she was drawn to the less literal parts or works.

From the archive she thought Recline and blow 2011, was an important painting for the lineage of the work. She thought the paintings were sculptural in their imagery.

We then spoke quite extensively about my website which is imminently under-reconstruction so a perfect opportunity to get more tailored advice; she helped clarify a few aspects to make a stronger impact and overall confirmed my plans.

We also spoke about; openings, exhibitions, social-networking sites, how some people think twitter almost makes websites obsolete in some industries, other artists’ practices, collectors, curators, affiliations, Art Fairs.

I will take a lot away from our conversation, mainly due to the explicit and open nature of the dialogue and am now making plans to put some of the practical elements in place over the coming months.


Hilary Crisp – director of Hilary Crisp Gallery, London.