Sarah Baird is an artist from Essex

Langham-based mixed media artist, Sarah Baird, has loved art from an early age. Jonathan King tells her story which has taken her from the Welsh hills to the wild <br/><br/>coast of Essex

Sarah Baird has always had a passion for being art. ‘I am never happier than when I am creating,’ says Sarah. ‘I’m good at seeing the design and beauty in things, and people. I spend a lot of time looking.’ And there is much to enjoy about Sarah’s immediate surroundings of Langham Hall in Langham, the long-established family home of her husband, William Maturin-Baird.

After meeting and falling in love in London, the couple settled at Glebe Farm, a part of the Langham Hall estate, and established Glebe Farm Hedging, selling trees and hedge plants via mail order. While her family were young, Sarah converted a spare barn at their farm into her studio and continued her love for creative arts and painting, while assisting with the running of the family business, something she continues to do even now.

Creativity has been a way of life for Sarah. Born in Wales, Sarah took O Levels in art and the history of art, at an all-girls boarding school high in the Welsh hills. A move to Harrow School of Art in North London saw her taking A Levels in both those subjects with the addition of lithography. There followed a foundation course and a BA in textile design, specialising in weaving, for which she won the Courtauld International Design Award for woven textiles. Since then Sarah has added to her knowledge base through studying sculpture and printmaking techniques. After her studies, Sarah returned to Wales and bought herself a loom to make and sell rugs, but soon returned to London, where she worked freelance for several design studios.

Today, inspiration comes from exploring Essex. ‘I love the wild and woolly Essex coast, with its big skies and salt marshes,’ adds Sarah. ‘It is not traditionally pretty, but it is immensely interesting and real. Living on a farm also means there is an abundance of materials to gather and use.’Whether painting on canvass or recycled wood, Sarah uses a mix of materials, layering with paint, tissue paper, news print, marker pen, pencil and inks, creating textures that give depth and interest to a piece. She will also sometimes embellish her work with rusty nails and hinges and her finished work often shows signs of distress and imperfections.

Words and calligraphy play a part in Sarah’s work too. ‘Sometimes it will be something as legible as a recipe for cooking fish or other times it will be an illegible stream of consciousness, a scrabble of words that flow endlessly from my brain through my hand onto the canvas,’ says Sarah. ‘The shape they form plays as important a part as the letters. Much of me is in those words – dreams, memories, feelings.’

Sarah’s work is regularly seen in exhibitions and galleries around Essex including the Cuckoo Farm Studios near Colchester as well as various art cafes and more recently in Brightlingsea, where her children also sail. So what is the latest creative project Sarah is currently working on? ‘I am working on a collaboration with three other Essex artists focusing on the theme of pilgrimage,’ says Sarah. ‘It is a refreshing challenge that is really inspiring me.’

Most Read

Comments powered by Disqus