Sarah Kudirka is an artist whose work explores the shapes and edges of things. Her ‘beautiful, layered and thoughtful” images are characterised by alteration and excavation, erasing and remaking: layering, drawing over and scratching back. She works usually in oils and pencil, often onto linen or instant film.
Kudirka’s recent work includes her Across Oceans series of calming shell-like images and paintings addressing our capacity for compassion and empathy that feature a conflated bowl:boat motif. She also continues to make her signature oil sketches over Instax and Polaroids, and ‘trashed canvases’ the joyous result of slashing back through layers of previous paintings to make them quite anew.
Her first Polaroids project (started 2012) derived from the artist walking in cities – London, Berlin, Dundee, Hong Kong, Sydney, Edinburgh and Glasgow – while looking up at the sky in between the buildings. The series output comprises large grids (and prints of) hundreds of images made over her Polaroids, using paint and pencil to obliterate the photographic image and reimagine urban spaces.
Board Member & Trustee of Acme Studios in London from 2009 to 2017, when she moved to Scotland. 2018 to 2021, elected Council Member of the Society of Scottish Artists. February 2018, Research Artist in Residence at Project Ability, Glasgow. 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, online 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 series of creative nights intended to seed new connections and collaborations between people from diverse creative disciplines. Sarah was its 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, across 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.
Although partially-deaf, Sarah does not consider herself a disabled artist.