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The Earth Beneath Her Feet





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Thursday, 1 August 2024 to Friday, 9 August 2024
Thursday, 1 August 2024 - 5:00pm

A solo exhibition of artist Sarah Needham’s new collection of earth pigment works celebrating untold female histories, opening Thursday 1st August.

Hive Curates are pleased to curate a solo exhibition of Sarah Needham’s work, including the travelling commission ‘100 Names’, new work from the ‘Earth Beneath Her Feet’ collection, and an earth pigment workshop, which will be open for the public at Broadworks.

Evoking a sense of space with colour and tone, Sarah Needham makes work in collections. Each collection has a research base in the way pigments leave a trace across geography and time of our human interconnection and interactions. For each work there is a metaphoric relationship between the way the paint is laid on the surface, and the actual pigments that have been found, and the central meaning that is being explored. Prompted by events in the present Sarah seeks out historical events or places that echo the human condition. In abstract each piece explores what it is to be alive.

Sarah will be showing new work from her ‘Earth Beneath Her Feet’ collection, which lends its name to the title of the exhibition. This work was made as a result of a two year project, starting in 2022. Provoked by increasing dehumanising dialogues in the public sphere, Sarah researched the witch hunts of the 15-1600s. Undertaking academic research and site visits across England as well as North Berwick and Edinburgh in Scotland. She collected earths and other materials that could be made into pigment from the villages where women lived who had been accused of witchcraft during the panics and trials. These collected materials have histories tied to the local economy of the time, in particular contemporaneous dyes and pitch from ship building. Collecting materials that would have been under the women’s feet, in their hands, and even covering their bodies in textiles at the time.

Sarah has made a series of paintings with the processed pigment, a selection of which will be on show in this exhibition. There will be approximately 20 abstract paintings for sale ranging from small to very large.

‘100 Names’ is an installation of a large wooden frame with 100 small pieces which can be viewed from the front and back. On the front is a small painting made including pigments from specific villages, on the reverse a series of doors which can be opened to reveal the name of a woman and the village she lived in. ‘100 Names’ will be on view but not directly for sale, the artist will be asking people to sponsor it for a travelling exhibition, so that it can return to the villages where the pigments were collected, and be displayed locally in 2025/6. If successful the 100 highest sponsors will receive one of the name pieces once the installation piece is broken down.

The paintings are abstract and made with hand made oil paints, on canvas, wood and paper. The forms they take evoke fertility, liquidity and infection, taking in ideas of the transference and spread of ideas as echoed in the material world, and the ideas that sit at the heart of dehumanising narratives. And while a little uncanny they are beautiful as a mark of remembrance and act of rehumanising the dehumanised.

There will be a public facing earth to pigment workshop that runs during the period of the exhibition.


Curator :

Artist ( Description ): 

Sarah Needham lives and works in North London. She was born in Lincolnshire and grew up in the South West of England, on the edge of the New Forest. She spent two years living in China in the 1990s. She is a graduate artist with an international clientele.

Venue ( Address ): 

Broadworks, 56a-57 Old Broad Street, City of London, EC2M 1RX

Other events from Holly Collier

The Earth Beneath Her Feet
08/01/2024 to 08/09/2024
Citizens Art Festival
04/07/2022 to 04/10/2022

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