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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

The work of Sarah Daly

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Zakay Glass Creations, a Bangalow gallery specialising in handmade contemporary glass sculpture and luminary lighting, is celebrating their first artist exhibition of the year featuring Brisbane-based painter Sarah Daly.

What training have you done in your career as an artist?

Learning the trade of an artist has been a 20-year effort. I started as a teenager, when a group of us would go to life drawing classes at the Queensland College of Art after school. Coming back to a girls school with a folio full of nudes of all shapes and sizes raised some eyebrows, but it got me into college. I studied fine arts at QCA, then art history at the University of Queensland. After moving to London in my late 20s, I took on drawing and ceramics at the Chelsea School of Art and Design. When one tutor compared my style of drawing to Rodin’s watercolours, I hopped on the train to Paris to see what he meant for myself. That was a very good day indeed!

Back in Brisbane a few years ago, I went to a brilliant little studio called Atelier, where they teach the classical style of drawing and painting. Now I’m developing skills in my own studio, and am experimenting with textile design. May the learning continue!

What inspires you?

My first inspiration when I start a painting is ‘who is this for?’ I imagine the space it will exist in, who will enjoy it, and then overlay any subjects or techniques that I’m working on at the moment.

One of my favourite recent paintings was for a couple in Barcelona who have just renovated an apartment in the old Gothic Quarter. Such romance. Such high ceilings! They wanted something that would reflect the city, but was not at all traditional. I designed an abstract map after I had spent some time walking around the city myself. The colours, the pattering language, the cool rock walls, even a woman’s red lipstick was on my mind as I painted for them.

How would you describe your art?

Things that are common in all of my work. Texture is important. The feel of the paint, the materials I use. The sound of crisp linen canvas. Balance in design. I love using layers that become more as you look into them. I have a respect for technique in making art; quality is fundamental, and can be overlooked in favour of the idea.

What I actually produce can become very different depending on who it is for. I make large abstract pieces, full of colour, for interior designers who want to add complexity to the spaces they bring together. Landscapes can bring people closer to a home they remember. Clouds help others to calm at the end of a long day.

Tell us about this exhibition.

The first time I walked into Zakay Gallery, I was filled with a sense of beauty, light and openness. I wanted to make paintings that would echo that feeling, and that people could take off the walls and into their own homes. After talking with the gallery team, I was given carte blanche to be as diverse as I like with my subjects and play with a wonderful range of imagery. There will be everything from abstracts, to landscapes, to figurative work.

Join Zakay Glass at the opening on Saturday 4 June starting from 6pm. With live music by Josh Arent and Indigo Scarlet Sparke, a solo exhibition by Sarah Daly plus organic wine by Rosnay and nibbles, this will be a night not to be missed!

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