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Artist Statement

 I am interested in Urban Landscapes, particularly areas and sites that are tucked away or hidden from us or places we pass every day but fail to notice or choose to ignore. 

Depending on where we live, what constitutes a person’s surroundings and daily visual experience differs wildly. For some this is a pleasant thing whilst for others it is arguably not. 

My interest in the urban landscape began back in the 1990’s when I was working in Coventry. I was doing some advice work for a local residents centre in what was considered to be a very run down and rough housing estate. When I arrived I was struck by the passion and enthusiasm of the centre’s employees. They were devastated at the bad press their housing estate received.


It did nothing except further the problems of the area. None of the positive aspects of the community were ever highlighted or celebrated leaving residents dismayed. I therefore set about painting the area in a way that I hoped would celebrate it by using bright dominant colours on large canvases. 

I enjoy the challenge of making something visually appealing and exciting from the bland and ugly areas of a city. I have painted redundant concrete works, rubbish tips and institutions such as Broadmoor hospital and Bullingdon Prison.

These industrial wastelands, concrete structures and institutions are as much a part of our environment as anywhere else. In these buildings people live, suffer and sometimes die. By painting them I want to challenge the comfortable and clichéd images of this environment and society. I want us to be reminded that they exist. 

Bold shapes, colours and line appeal to me and I like to extract from a chaotic scene some sense of order. I work with colour, form and texture to achieve a balance between the solid and the delicate. Having already limited my palette, more recently I have reduced it still further which allows me to concentrate more on mark making. 

In an era in which the culture of the self dominates and poverty, both financial and cultural, is ignored and underrated, I want to bring back to our consciousness what is hidden from us and disregarded. My paintings seek to speak of our human experience.  



Sarah Moncrieff

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