Surprising Things is perhaps less about surprising viewers and more about the artist surprising herself. Surprising Things combines abstract with figurative work in a way that is unusual - challenging the conception that an artistic voice should be in any way predictable.
Sarah Nabarro began exploring abstract painting in 2015, after years of figurative work. Combining her art with Reiki – a Japanese healing technique – she developed Reiki Painting, a meditative art form in which she used the movement of her body to translate healing energy onto paper via paint and water. Trusting her body and the flow of the water, Reiki Painting became an art of letting go - bypassing the limitations and blocks imposed by “mind” – and enabling her to become a pure and playful creative channel. Sarah’s art became a spiritual practice to do with ‘painting the way I would like to live’.
Reiki Painting is a philosophy, with “mindful play” a driving principle. Freshness and surprise are key to successful “play”, and Sarah has stated that ‘to “Reiki Paint” forever would have contravened this principle’. Her recent return to figurative work is underpinned by the philosophy of Reiki Painting.
Sarah lets her hands and the mediums lead her in the creative process. The medium is not a tool for Sarah – it is a collaborator, offering up suggestions from which stories and characters emerge. Working in this way allows the artist to keep the possibilities open – to be playfully present in the moment. In this sense, Sarah’s work is the antithesis of conceptual art.
Sarah’s work is driven by the desire to be surprised – to create surprising things and to trust the process of not-knowing. Her art continues to reflect the spiritual philosophy that she tries to live by.
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