Landscapes with some stark messages

Industrial Mausoleums Relived by Liverpool Artist Sarah Nicholson – New Works @ Saunders and Senior Gallery, Norwich

Industrial Mausoleums Relived by Liverpool Artist Sarah Nicholson – New Works @ Saunders and Senior Gallery, Norwich


Solicitors in London together with the Dostoyevsky Foundation (a charity that promotes art and literature) have devised new opportunities for artists to exhibit and sell their art to a wider and different section of the public.

This show removes the weak pen-and-panelling approach. People seeking legal advice in Norwich are faced with a plethora of stark, vivid, abstract landscapes by Liverpool artist Sarah Nicholson (born 1966).

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Nicholson's subjects go refreshingly beyond a tendency by so many to tidy up their perception aesthetically.

The artist meets the industrial edifice head-on, initially making crude jottings and strange structures flash past a car or train window.

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Her late Victorian home is strewn with objects and images, working with soft Unison pastels on Bockingford 250gsm hand-made paper.

She draws shapes with a very loose movement “to describe a very precise object”. Each work completed in just a few hours is regarded as a journey, changes left visible for you to read.

Green Hill 3 recalls the angular, apparently childlike images of Lyonel Feininger (1871 to 1956), the German cubist who taught at the Bauhaus.

New York Buildings 1 (1945) and Architecture 2 (1921), are also worthwhile comparisons.

Nicholson ingests memories, reliving strange icons, employing consistent sketchy and brittle lines. Colour is applied subjectively.

We are left with the result of a worked dream.

The effect is visually jolting. Gone are the leafy glades, replaced by redundant mausoleums, memorials to industrial greed, theatre sets for a post-nuclear play.

The glamorous Sarah Nicholson may have hit the button but it is not an easy-viewing one.

The exhibition continues at the Bridewell Alley gallery until May 5.

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