Sarah Kudirka



Sarah Kudirka

Job title



Sarah Kudirka is a visual artist fascinated by the shapes and edges of things.
Also founder of K U D I R K A, a new artist-led ‘sometimes space’ in Glasgow.*

“You know when you find something in your pocket that you picked up then forgot? Familiar but unknown, a wee treasure, your fingers feel around its surfaces, its edges. Not until you pull it out of your pocket and see it in your hand do you know what it is. My art has long been about exploring the shapes and edges of stuff, kind of like that.”  

Kudirka’s oil paintings are characterised by obliterated, incised, scratched and scraped, altered paint surfaces, remade over and again, iteratively, often across years. Her swirling brushstrokes reference seashells, geological forms, fingerprints and mapped hill contours. Recent series are focused on shell-like forms and bowls, drawing from them a metaphor for diaspora, ancient traditions of human journeys across water and our human capacity for compassion. Her semi-abstract forms drift apart and crowd together, points at which they meet or overlap appear key. They are worn down and buoyed up, float and settle and find themselves in shared space needing to make room for others, in their edges and flow there is at once porosity, closeness and resistance.

Group/solo shows in Scotland recently include Stallan Brand, The Maclaurin Gallery, Tatha Gallery, Kirkcudbright Galleries, Smithy Gallery, South Block Project Space and The Briggait.

Previously worked with the Director (Nick Serota then Vicente Todoli) at Tate Modern, and was a Board Member & Trustee of Acme while based in London until 2017 she moved to Scotland. Served on the Council Member of the Society of Scottish Artists. February 2018, Research Artist in Residence at Project Ability, Glasgow.

Research interests include the Lithuanian diaspora in Scotland. Her paper “The Photos by Women You Just Won’t See” was given during the Second Morton Symposium on Women & Photography in Scotland, convened by the National Trust for Scotland and Glasgow Women’s Library [October 2020]. It was published in the Journal Studies in Photography, Spring 2021.

Experienced in commissioning and delivery-planning for art in the public realm working with architects, developers and public sector clients, in Spring 2017 Sarah was on the selection panel for a new series of sculptures as part of a major London-wide infrastructure project.

Sarah worked with Arup from 2006 consulting on communications at Global Board-level, then proposed and became the engineering firm’s first ever Artist Inhouse working on a portfolio of projects, (2011-13). Having collaborated with Sir John Sorrell CBE to develop the concept for a run of creative nights intended to seed new connections and collaborations between people from diverse creative disciplines, Sarah was the series founder, working remotely with teams worldwide to stage The Penguin Pool sessions in Beijing, Cape Town, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Manchester, Melbourne, Milan, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney & Toronto (23 one-off events run sequentially in 15 cities worldwide, with a duration of 21 months).

Kudirka (née Davenport) holds BA hons Fine Art (first, 1990) and MA in Sculpture Studies (distinction, 1991) from The University of Leeds, where she was also awarded The Passey Prize In Art, 1990. Funded by the Henry Moore Sculpture Trust, she researched the catalogue raisonné of Austin Wright (1911-97), which was published in James Hamilton’s monograph on the sculptor, Lund Humphries / The Henry Moore Foundation, 1994.

Sarah is partially-deaf, but not registered disabled.

*K U D I R K A, launching 2024, is a developing project that aims to help lift others up. Plans for this new contemporary art and music space in the artist’s home include shows, events, gigs and invited artist sojourns.