Sarah Thornton-Smith is a visual artist with a practice which leans closely to the search of patterns that exist within the geometry of nature and how it brings the idea of connection in the conversations which happen around the phenomenon of colour, particularly in the way it surfaces, interacts, influences, directs and appeals to one’s experiences.
Her work with gouache on paper is delicate, ephemeral and echo the intimacy of the process and the temporary nature of her feelings through which our experiences and memories are created. The colour palettes in her work are derived directly from her photographic documentation, written notations, and watercolour field studies. Sarah’s observation of nature and the subtle connection between colour, form, structure, and light intrigues her and so began her conversations with colour.
Developing this observation through her use of ‘colour waves’ in the gradation manipulation of gouache allows a show of visual experiences that translates to experimental notions and ideas. Ideas like kinetic and optical visual play lend themselves to further experimentation that can highlight a memory or experience. Sometimes a connection is made, and this is a gift in itself.
Arriving from Singapore in her early teens, Sarah was struck by the quality of the light here in Western Australia which contrasted with her formative experience of light bound by tropical lushness. Her foundation years at university further guided her to her lifelong fascination with colour. Being raised in a Malay Chinese household and crossed between the Eastern and Western cultures, the experience has contributed unwittingly to an enquiry of connections. The work Sarah conducts gives consideration to this underlying notion.