Daisy Laing NEWS

Capture - Sharon Purves

WhatsApp Image 2023-09-11 at 21.24.55

Sharon Purves
Sharon was brought up in London, spent a few childhood years in Scotland, lived in Penzance with her young family for 9 years and now lives in Brighton. She supports teenagers and young adults at Brighton MET FE College in a pastoral role and helped set up a project to take disengaged students to work with schools in Tanzania and Sri Lanka. Travel continues to shape her life with a lifetime obsession with Greece.
She studied Painting at Norwich School of Art in the mid 80s and alongside creative writing, her artwork has influenced her engagement with young and vulnerable people, hoping to impart a sense of personal fulfilment and curiosity in them. This, in turn, is reflected in her own approach to painting that seeks out solace and a quiet absorption in its making: a kind of devotional execution finds peace in the hectic and crude visual overload we all face. 
Plants personify the relentless struggle to survive, to reproduce, to mitigate against threat and mortality: they want to blossom and thrive. Sharon captures with a private stealth those times we are transfixed by wonder and meaning. Consequently, her iconic paintings have most recently contributed to exhibitions including ‘Unstable Monuments’ in the abandoned courts in Bristol and at the ‘Rapture’ shows in Brighton and Cornwall. In ‘Capture’ here at Daisy Laing Gallery, Sharon's gathering together of recent paintings, provides a quiet space to harness the fleeting and exquisite nature of experience.  
Sharon Purves enjoys the drama of the everyday. Inspired by the chiaroscuro of Renaissance Dutch still-lives, Purves casts ordinary objects, flowers, hands, fruit, in their own theatrical movements. The process begins with something stopping her in her tracks: a flower at its most alive, the undertone of someone’s hands, the split and ooze of decaying fruit. A composition will come to mind instantly, the finished painting arriving in a clear instantaneous vision. Even though Purves photographs this moment, it is the powerful memory of composition she will return to when painting. Her pieces are layered, creating a luminosity of colour, as if the subjects are lit from within. Purves delights in transposing a deep and powerful aesthetic, saying, ‘the world is ugly enough, why not give it a little more beauty.’         Writer - Kate Reeves Edwards @culturalcapitalarts