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Sarah Dwyer

Sarah Dwyer

Whip-poor-will, 12 September 2014 – 10 October 2014

Josh Lilley is pleased to announce the opening of Sarah Dwyer’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. The title of the show – Whip-poor-will, takes its name from the nightjar bird found in north and central America, and is most noted for being commonly heard but less often seen. Its haunting, ethereal song, has also made it the topic of numerous legends, one of which says it can sense a soul departing, and can capture it as it flees.

Like the whip-poor-will, Dwyer’s most recent paintings define themselves through a process of emergence. For a time hidden within the artist herself, an interior dialogue manifests itself onto her canvases, and is caught in a moment of fleeting energy. Guided by intuition she arrives at composition over varying periods of time – where fluid traces of figuration and anthropomorphic forms are suspended amongst hastily patched expanses of colour. Linear wisps cut through an array of vivid pigments and intensively worked compositions, where references become fragmented through varying painterly energies – embedding themselves into the work’s surface.

Dwyer often talks of the large, almost autonomously made drawings that stem from lingering thoughts in her subconscious; elements of both reverie and loss. Leaning on the absurdest narratives within surrealism, her pictures are constructed quickly – so that she can be swayed by chance and instinct. Her paintings subsequently retain both the successes and mistakes of such actions, allowing drawing and line to result as essential components that offer a new freedom and delineation of space.

Narrative has been exchanged for pure painterly energy, a tension that exists within and between her different pictures. Through this oscillation between flesh and paint, line and abstraction, figure and ground, the viewer is boldly battered by a barrage of Dwyer’s ever expanding painterly language.



Sarah Dwyer - Born 1974 in Cork, Ireland. Lives and works in London

Dwyer studied Environmental Economics at York University in 1996, working in this field for several years before changing career and completing her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2004. Previous solo exhibitions include Falling into Positions, Josh Lilley Gallery, London, 2012, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin, 2011, and Hands Stuffing a Mattress, Josh Lilley Gallery, London, 2009. Selected group exhibitions include I shall stay the way I am because I do not give a damn...’, Lombard Fried Gallery, New York, 2014, New Order II, Saatchi Gallery, London, 2014, Fear, Lo and Behold, Salon de Vortex, Athens, 2011, Daily Miracles, Josh Lilley Gallery, London, 2009 and Art Futures, Bloomberg Space, London, 2007.