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Sarah McEachran

I paint self-portraiture as a means to help me figure out where I stand in society and with them I want to highlight the key points of my life. I painted portraits of myself in contrasting attire, that in my opinion express the different sides of my personality. For example one of my pieces concentrated on my “girly” side since in person it is the least visibly apparent aspect of myself.

From an interest in capturing personalities I paint portraiture of other people. I usually paint people I know very well because I want the viewer to know them as I do through looking at my paintings. Memory plays an important part in my work by helping me to visualize the character of the person I am painting.

I have been influenced by sub-cultures and pop-culture in addition to fine art. In the past, fashion trends and their influence on society have been significant themes in my paintings. I have found humour in the seriousness of fashion cult followers, who spend time and effort on worrying about being bang on trend.

Film and television has played a vital role in creating my work. They have sometimes been spring boards for ideas that have cultivated into paintings. Each shot has its own composition and for me it’s a tool for visually planning out paintings. Since my work is autobiographical it leans towards being narrative and character driven.

The artists that have inspired me would include Edvard Munch, Lucien Freud, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Xiang Xioagang, Mika Kato, Tim Burton, Francis Bacon, Diane Arbus, Mark Ryden, Luke Chueh and many more. But my main influences are Edvard Munch, Lucien Freud and Rembrandt. All three were prolific self-portrait painters. For my dissertation I asked myself in what way could Edvard Munch’s work be autobiographical from 1885 – 1915.

The mediums I use are acrylics, acrylic mediums and poster paint on board. My first layer of paint is my ground made from poster paint and acrylic to make a very matt finish. Then I paint the portrait with acrylics and mediums for a glossy finish to create a contrast in the texture. Although most of the artists that have moved me used oil paints, I use acrylic paints because of the speed it dries it helps me to paint at the pace I need to work.

I am a young artist living in North Wales; I studied at Coleg Menai in Bangor and I received a Btec National Diploma with two distinctions and a merit. I then went on to graduate at UWIC in Cardiff with a 2:1 BA Fine Art (hons) degree.

I had been a volunteer at Bocs for many years, assisting administration by researching procurement, taking notes at meetings, fundraising and getting data (for example filling questionnaires with visitors). I have also helped with their community projects by supporting workshops and hanging of the artwork for exhibitions. During exhibition installation I got to watch the curator at work. It really inspired me to see the thought process that went into the putting in place of the show. In 2014 I coordinated the Halloween craft fair in Bocs, I was very pleased to hear the positive feedback we received from visitors.

On Facebook I run an artists resource page. I try post as many exhibition and job opportunities as I can to help the artists in North Wales.

List of exhibitions:

Dog Sho - Sho Gallery Cardiff 2018

insight 3 - Mostyn 2014

Harlech Biennale – Theatre Harlech 2014

Arddfangosfa 14 - Bocs 2013

Gŵyl Arall 2012

Cofi Blŵs - Arthaus61 2012

Sho-meow @ the Sho Cardiff 2011

Howard Gardens Art School Degree Show 2009

Capital Shopping Centre - Cardiff 2008

Jacobs Market - Cardiff 2007