I was born and raised in New Zealand but like many Kiwi's I travelled. In my early twenties I spent months at a time in Indonesia escaping our cold winters. There I travelled by motorbike hunting out surf spots, meeting the locals, camping next to jungles, eating amazing local cuisine, lazing on isolated islands [ where I was bitten by a tropical Centipede and danced around by a local witch doctor] and drawing in my journal.

 

I continued my nomadic lifestyle from there to London where I worked as a waitress and mural painter - even painting part of the ceiling of the famous 'Polar Bear Pub' in Leister Square. I spent time in Morocco and later in Italy and France.

Eventually I returned to Dunedin, New Zealand where at 27 I received a degree in Fine Arts. I was lucky enough to get a job at Animation Research Ltd where I worked for 12 years. During this time I did everything from 3D animation, creative direction, production management, concept art, web design to even working on Formula One race courses.

I had my first solo exhibition in 2012 as a full time artist at Orexart in Auckland. The show was called 'Spindle' and featured large scale portrayals of fairytale characters and archetypes. I was reading a lot of fairytales to my son and fell in love with the darkness of the original tales by Hans Christian Anderson and of course the brothers Grimm. 

 

Since making the decision to become a full-time artist I have been exhibiting both nationally and internationally - 'Orexart' in Auckland, 'The Artist's Room' in Dunedin, Internationally - 'Beinart Gallery' in Melbourne, 'Roq La Rue' in Seattle , 'Corey Helford Gallery' in Los Angeles. 

 

If you would like to know more head over to my companion site

the-workbook.com

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Being an artist for me is more than just being a painter. It is about how I experience the world around me. I love to create - whether that be painting, illustrating, cooking, 3D graphics, gardening or design. I am inspired by so much of what surrounds me that sometimes its hard to choose which creative direction to take.

I have been working as an artist for some years now but recently I realised that I wasn't exploring my ideas as much as I wanted to due to either deadlines or personal pressures.

Caught up in creating work for either a group show or solo exhibition had left little time for reflection. I am curious to see how I can change this and redefine what it means for me to be an artist. I have created a digital platform 'the-workbook.com' to provide myself with a new space to document both my ideas and work as it progresses - and to share ideas and collaborate with other artists.

Here you can see the process behind my work and what inspires me - plus future projects. 

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'Sarah's work has always been character driven and combines traditional portraiture with narrative. The haunting, romantic women of her Gothic paintings are often famous literary figures including Ophelia and Mary Shelley or fairy tale archetypes such as the Wicked Witch or the Damsel-in-Distress.

Sarah's characters are immediately dazzling in their power and beauty, but on closer inspection reveal hands rubbed raw, flushed complexions and above all else, unnerving expressions. Set against stark, yet luminous backgrounds, the focus of each work is firmly on the character, and the depth and complexity of emotions barely contained behind their gaze.

Sarah works patiently, building up the graceful lines of thin necks and arms, the folds of garments and the subtle pallor of skin in layers of fine detail. For Sarah, giving time to the paintings allows their emotive qualities to slowly emerge in the midst of their atmospheric palettes, creating works that are as personal and as resonant as diary entries.' [text Orexart Gallery]

above: featured articles in Sunday Star Times Magazine, Hi-Fructose Magazine and Beautiful Bizarre Magazine.

above: initial sketch and first pass of wash 

right : finished 'When I Was A Polar Bear'

Exhibitions Upcoming

2020 - July 4th -  26th, 'Lucid' Group show, Beinart Gallery , Melbourne

2020 - September 7th, 'BLAB Group Exhibit' CoproGallery, Santa Monica, California

2022 - 2 person show at Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles

2023 - solo show at Beinart Gallery , Melbourne

Exhibitions and Press

Past

2020 - April 18th, 'Fantastic Beast's' group show at Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles

2020 - February 11th - 29th, 'Heads Up 2000', group show at OREXART gallery, Auckland

2019 - December 14th, 'Collectors Starter Kit' Group show at Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles

2019 - November, Group show, Beinart Gallery , Melbourne

2019 - June 1st, Small Works Group Show, Beinart Gallery , Melbourne

2019 - September, 'When I Was' Solo show at The Artist's Room, Dunedin, New Zealand

2019 - 'Collectors Starter Kit' Group show at Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles

2018 - December 1st, 'Collectors Starter Kit' Group show at Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles

2018 - December 5th, Christmas Group Show at 'The Artist's Room', Dunedin, New Zealand

2018 - July, Small Works Group show at Beinart Gallery , Melbourne

 

2018 - July 28th, 'New Romantics' Group show at Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles

 

2018 - May 3rd, New Works, OREXART, Auckland

 

2017 - 17th October , Solo Show Terrarium , OREXART, Auckland

 

2017 - March 18th - Apr 29th , Bitter | Sweet - Group Exhibition hosted By 19 Karen Contemporary, Gold Coast, Australia

 

2017 - March issue of  Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, feature

 

2016 - Christmas Group Show, The Artist's Room, Dunedin, New Zealand

 

2016 - CHG 10th Anniversary Show, Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles

 

2016 - Small Works Group show, BEINART Gallery, Melbourne

 

2016 - Group show 'Below The Surface' at Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles.

 

2015 - Group Show 'Between Worlds', Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles

 

2015 -  The Collectors Group show,  Orexart Gallery, Auckland

 

2015 - Solo Show, 'Creatures of Habit', Orexart Gallery, Auckland

 

2015 - Review in the The New Zealand Herald by TJ McNamara of Solo show 'Creatures of Habit'

 

2015 - Solo show 'Carnivale', The Artist's Room, Dunedin

 

2014 - Group Show, The Artist's Room, Dunedin

 

2014 - Group Show, 'Selfie's' Orexart Gallery, Auckland

 

2013 - Auckland Art Fair, Orexart Gallery, Auckland

 

2013 - Group Show, Roq La Rue, Seattle, USA

 

2013 - Article in the Los Angeles Post

 

2013 - Hi-Fructose Vol.26 - Feature and Interview with Kirsten Anderson

 

2012 - Solo show, 'Spindle', Orexart Gallery, Auckland

 

2012 - Review in the The New Zealand Herald by TJ McNamara  'Spindle' 2012, Solo show Orex Gallery

 

2012 - Finalist in the Adam Portraiture Awards, Wellington

 

2010 - 'A Portrait of Mary Shelley' was used as cover art on a collection of essays published by Cambridge Scholars Press.

 

2009 - Group Show, Temple Gallery, Dunedin

 

2009 - Review by James Dignan 'Every Painting is a way of saying goodbye' Group show Temple Gallery

 

2009 - Auckland Art Fair

 

2009 - Group show, 'Works on Paper', Orexart Gallery

 

2008 - Solo show, 'Art of Darkness', Orexart Gallery, Auckland

 

2008 - Review in the The New Zealand Herald by TJ McNamara 'Art of Darkness' 2008, Solo show Orex Gallery

 

2008 - Sunday Star Time Feature

 

2007 - Group show,Temple Gallery, Dunedin

 

2006 - Group show - Christmas, Temple Gallery, Dunedin

 

2006 - Group show - 'Discomposure', Temple Gallery, Dunedin

 

2005 - Solo show, The Artist's Room

 

 2005 - House and Garden Magazine Feature

 

2004 - Solo shown, Moray Gallery

 

2000 - Graduated from Dunedin School of Art , New Zealand

©Sarah Dolby