Sarah Kudirka is a visual artist based in Glasgow whose work concerns the shapes and edges of things. Her paintings are characterised by alteration and excavation, erasing and making anew: layering, drawing over and scratching back, adding oils, pencil and ink, often over instant film exposures.
Kudirka’s recent work includes a series of concentrated abstract oil sketches over Instax snaps; and her ‘trashed canvases’, made by relentlessly slashing back through layers of previous paintings to make them anew. An ongoing project started in 2012 derives from walking in cities – including London, Berlin, Hong Kong, Sydney, Edinburgh and Glasgow – while looking up at the sky in between tall buildings. The series output comprises hundreds of images made over 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, an elected Council Member of the Society of Scottish Artists. In 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 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.