There is a sort of uncanny atmosphere created through Sally Anderson’s paintings. The Australian painter draws from both personal experience and imagined or second-hand memories for a growing body of work that seems to tap into our most intimate moments; memories of a gentle breeze; the delicate salty scent of the ocean; a poignant thought or poem made visible. Her oeuvre – if ever there was use for that word, it seems fitting here – seems almost to venture into our calmest moments. Her works are instantly recognizable, executed from a limited palette, (predominantly hues of blue,) to depict a distant ocean horizon; a vase of dried flowers viewed through a billowing drape; an abstracted landscape of Diebenkorn-worthy appeal. Anderson is able to evoke emotion from paintings that create a sensation as much as they constitute an image. There is an almost synesthetic relationship between subject, depiction, and the emotional response one feels in their presence. Through a further sort of semiotic deduction, the young artist seems keen to establish her own rules of communication. There’s psychology here, too: a correlation between memory, place, language, relationship, and object. Landscape and still life are often treated metaphorically, and Anderson is able to dislodge these works from a need for pictorial representation in favour of tapping into a sort of collective consciousness involving greater ideas about peace, calm, life – even afterlife. These are works that explore transitory, liminal spaces, both inside and outside, land and sea, firm and languid, present and past. She credits motherhood with her interest in transitory sensations; moments that slip through fingers if we allow them. Or, in this case, from her wrist to brush to canvas, where others might attempt to cherish them.
SALLY ANDERSON (b. 1990, Lismore, NSW) started her undergraduate studies in Fine Art at Southern Cross University, Lismore, and completed them at UNSW Art & Design, Sydney in 2014. Solo exhibitions include: Sky Ceiling, Nicholas Thompson Gallery, Victoria, Australia (2022); Seabed Bedspread, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Queensland, Australia (2021); Sea Screen Belly, Olsen Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2021); Bridal Veil Falls, the Window and the Piano Lesson, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane, Australia (2020); Arm of the Sea and the Fertile Tree, Tweed Regional Gallery, NSW, Australia (2020) and; Blue and Green Music, Olsen Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2019). Group exhibitions include: Sir John Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia (2021); Portia Geach Memorial Award, SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2020). Fairs include: Auckland Art Fair, New Zealand (2021) and; Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Australia (2018). Residencies and awards include: Cite des Arts, Paris, France (2018); SIM, Reykjavik, Iceland (2013) and; she won the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship (2017). Further, she has been shortlisted for numerous prizes including: The Portia Geach Award; Paddington Art Prize, and; The Kilgour prize. Anderson currently lives and works in Sydney, New South Wales.