BY WOMEN, FOR WOMEN – SOLO EXHIBITION
by SARAH WALMSLEY
“Show a people as one thing over and over again, and that is what they become”
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Sarah Walmsley’s work offers a revised approach to the sculptural female nude. Her emotive sculptures gracefully bear the weight of their experience as they communicate with each other and their viewers. Through these sculptures, she aims to represent women, by women, in the way they have elected to be represented.
Through the body language and essence of her sculptures combined with the mediums in which they are created, she has addressed themes of memory, absence and presence, loss and the female identity using the female body as an allegory and conduit for expression. Initially focusing on self-portraits and now in her most recent body of work “By Women, for Women” including portraits of various female figures. Walmsley’s work addresses the ways in which the female body has been voyeuristically represented in art and aims to reclaim the female nude, through representations of ‘naked nudes’ and authentic portraits of women by a female artist. These portraits aim to honour and celebrate the power, strength and beauty of women and represent their intersectional identities.
It is these portrayals I wish to amend. In line with Chimamanda Adichie’s “Never a Single Story”, we cannot allow the identities of South African women to be relegated to these singular perspectives, which are usually, if not mostly, borne from the male perspective. As a female artist and sculptor, it is my responsibility to address this misrepresentation with a re-representation of women, for women – women of the present and the future. This is the first instalment of the travelling exhibition which will grow along its journey, with more work being added with each showing.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sarah Walmsley graduated with her Master’s in Fine Art Sculpture in April 2018, following her BTech in Fine Art Sculpture (cum laude) at Nelson Mandela University. Walmsley has taken part in over 60 group exhibitions across South Africa including the nation-wide top 50 All Womxn Matter finalist exhibition, Absa L’Atelier and Sasol New Signatures top 100 finalist exhibitions. Her artworks are in private collections around the world and can be viewed on the online gallery platforms of StateoftheART Gallery and Julie Miller African Contemporary Art Gallery. She had her first solo exhibition with StateoftheART Gallery in Cape Town and is the proud winner of the first All Womxn Matter art competition hosted by Julie Miller African Contemporary Art Gallery and Art at Africa Gallery. Walmsley now runs her own Art & Wellness business titled Art with Heart from WERK studios, Baakens Valley. Contact Sarah Walmsley at @artwithheart_za and @sarahs.sculptures on Instagram and visit www.artwithheart.art and www.sarahwalmsley.co.za