Sarah Gilman lives and works in the Merseyside area and graduated in 2018 from University Centre St Helens with First Class Honours in Fine Art Painting.
She has exhibited both locally and nationally since 2017 and was awarded First Prize at St Helens Open Arts Prize in 2019. Recent shows include: Enough is Definitely Enough, Oceans Apart Gallery, Salford; More T’North, The Harris Museum, Preston; A Little Painting Show, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds; Made It, Manchester; PAINT, Manchester; Greater Manchester Arts Prize; New Light Art Prize 2018/19.
Sarah Gilman’s paintings are directly influenced by the works of 17th century still-life painters, such as Cornelius Gijsbrechts and Samuel van Hoogstraten, Gilman, however, situates her painting within contemporary discourses surrounding the still-life genre.
Gilman’s use of trompe l’oeil reminds us, after the initial encounter with illusion – an appreciation of the artfulness of illusion, that this mimetic project ultimately leads us back to the material of paint. In this sense Gilman’s practice could be described as an interest in the relation between painting and cognitive self-reflexivity – the mechanics of painting by which we are made aware of the fact that we are thinking about the act of looking and we are thinking about this act of thinking. Another kind of painting that promotes this self-reflexivity, and one that Gilman’s current painting explores is the meta-picture – pictures within pictures.