I recently visited Studio Toogood during Frieze art fair to see the beautiful work of designer and artist Sarah Kaye Rodden.
Sarah studied BA Hons Fine Art at Newcastle University and a 1yr interior design course at Chelsea College of Art & Design. She then worked for Imagination,Thomas Heatherwick, Ilse Crawford and Faye Toogood on installations, public art, and interiors. She finds inspiration in the work of Anthony Caro, Jean Arp and Giorgio Morandi.
When Sarah had her first child 6 years ago she started the practice of short stints of daily work while her baby napped, setting up a small still life and drawing it in a sketchbook. Every day looking at the grouped objects in a different way by re-arranging them, drawing from different angles or focusing on the changing light and shadows . A new drawing each day on a new page, beautiful daily observations. The ability to focus and work in this way, daily, and not to be distracted by life’s noise, is an inspiration to anyone struggling to balance work, family and creativity.
Last year Sarah revisited these sketchbooks as inspiration for her current body of work on show at the exhibition ‘Nearness’. She again considered the theme of grouped objects, creating larger drawn studies and pieces based around assembled materials.
In her larger drawings, you can see she loves the process of drawing as much as the finished piece. In two artworks she took the silhouette of her drawings and abstracted them into flat cut wood. The assemblages explore the interaction of objects and materials together.
Sarah’s response to materials: wood, metal, cardboard, is intuitive and honest. Pieces are made by hand, instinctively responding to the tactile qualities and structure of the materials creating forms that please her. Choosing not to add texture, embellishment or decoration the surfaces are left in their simple state. Sarah instead creates interest through layering surfaces, dissecting and interconnecting shapes. Not seduced by colour and preferencing a neutral palette, Sarah shows subtleties and nuances of tones, with walnut polished to reveal the grain of the wood, or shadows created by the dense matt blackness of rubber.
There is a clarity of line and form in Sarah’s work, she looks at the interactions of the objects and the shapes she create as a whole, also the spaces created between the objects and around the objects, their positive and negative forms. She encourages the viewer to interact with her pieces moving shapes around to create a new personal assemblage.
To see more of her work visit www.sarahkayerodden.com
Artworks from her exhibition ‘Nearness’ are still available to view until April 2018, at House of Toogood, 71 Redchurch Street, London, E2 7DJ.