Sharon Drew’s paintings present a landscape of exuberant colour and electric mark-making. This new work, created during her residency at Trinity Buoy Wharf, adopts a ‘call and response’ approach to composition. Drifter (1) sees a vibrant, distinctive gesture repeat across a static but charged ground. Rapid, horizontal streaks of colour are held by a green monument-like rectangle and the gestures appear to move in and out of this space tugging your attention one way and another. In contrast On the Turn (5) (overleaf) attempts to contain the energy of a singular gesture against a sea of yellow/green, creating a circular motion endlessly repeating in our view.
Drew’s paintings deliver to us a world in constant flux, a turmoil of colour and action. Yet this is not a dark vision, instead a positive and determined celebration of the painters right to colour and expression. Life affirming and inviting, Drew invites the viewer to immerse themselves in the process and experience of making a painting.
© Patrick O’Sullivan, Artist December 2016
Head of Art Handling, The National Gallery, London