Although Eyestorm has been showing Louise Sanders’ work for over 18 months now, due to various reasons she and I had never met until last week. So it was a pleasant surprise when she told me she’d relocated down South having been Sheffield-based for the past couple of years.
An element of Louise’s work that makes it so interesting, which will be unknown to most, is the story that lies behind each piece. Inspired by visits to far away lands such as China, Dubai and Tunisia, Louise’s paintings are a visual diary of her adventures, and as she unwrapped the paintings piece by piece in her studio, she revealed the story of each one.
In The Mystery Unfolds, the stunning image of a pagoda stands tall on a hill in Fairy Lake Park, Shenzhen, China. Notoriously a smoggy and industrial economic area, the park is an oasis amongst its dirty, noisy surroundings. Also taken from her Chinese expeditions, the flowers in Park Life were seen at Jingshan Park in Beijing, and A Different Perspective is from a village amongst the rice terraces of Guangxi, where a three-hour trek turned into a six-hour nightmare when she got lost and was without water, facing a night with mosquitoes and poisonous snakes. You would never know this however from the tranquil image of a home emerging from the hillside surrounded by what you can imagine as being some of the most beautiful flowers you’ve ever seen. Perhaps if she hadn’t found safety that night this image would have been slightly different!
Other works such as Perfect Isolation take us to the middle east with sand dunes in Abu Dhabi at sunset. I think whether you’re aware of the autobiographical content of the pieces or not, Louise’s paintings are effortlessly attractive, and this is due to the way the paint seems to sit perfectly onto the aluminium surface. I’m always pleasantly surprised when I see them in the flesh, and as often with the painting we show, the screen just doesn’t do them justice.