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Biography

Sally's figurative oil paintings, and portraits, have a strong narrative and bold composition that provoke a feeling of curiosity from the viewer.

A witty charm and well observed sense of humor blends uniquely with a hintingly dark undercurrent.

"My works tend to be oils on canvas, but i have no hard and fast rules and will utilise any number of mediums, tools and surfaces to paint on. Pieces of wood, street signs, old leather, cardboard, xrays, furniture...anything that has an interesting texture or character to it.

All the frames are repurposed too. Silk Screen printing trays, old pub signs and mirror frames turned round the wrong way.

I work from a combination of life drawing, photographs and sketches."

"I am interested in the connection between viewer and subject, the artist being the middle woman.  Bodies, people, their stories, their skin, the hidden shades and depths, from the inside out, a fabric that is always changing. Never predictable, always challenging and something i feel compelled to depict."

Sally has undergone no formal training in the land of painting, she has instead carefully tailored a life of endless travel, colourful and creative experiences, a curious mind, open heart, and a steely determination, into a self-taught education that currently spans 17 years.

A hairdresser & make up artist for the BBC and a trained wig maker by trade, Sally Whelan can always be found, some sort of brush or tool in hand, with a toothy grin and a bad back. 

Sally confesses to being a "hoarder of  surfaces, textures, colours and memories" thus, painting and making has been an inevitable path for her since she was little.

She travelled extensively in her early 20's, and eventually landed in Byron Bay, Australia. She lived here for 3 years in an artistic collective making films, props, sets and experimenting with sculpture, collage, painting, murals and worrying attempts at taxidermy puppetry.

This was a place of complete artistic freedom to try new things surrounded by incredible scenic beauty and likeminded folk.

Sally had her first solo art exhibition "Wolf & Beads" in 2010, in Byron Bay.

Moving back to the UK in 2012 Sally worked for the BBC and painted in her spare time.

She showed in group shows in London with other artists, before moving to Bristol, where she had her first UK solo exhibition "These Little Walls" in Stokes Croft, 2016.

Sally works endlessly on her own body of work, as well as comssioned oil paintings for the TV and film industry, and for private collectors.

She has shown and sold her work internationally, including Australia, America, Canada, Europe and throughout the UK.

She currently lives and works from her studio in Islington, London.

 

Exhibitions

2020       'Fake News' - ArtCan Group Show - Offshoot Gallery - London

                 BBC Asian Network - Mobeen Azhar radio talk show - Interview The Goddess Sittings 

                Netflix & Eleven Film - Commissioned Portraits featured - Season 2 'Sex Education'

              'Ministry of Art' - Podcast Interview

              'Elevate 02' - ArtCan Group show - The Shard - London

 

2019      Winner of the CBPP Instagram portrait competition - feature on thier Instagram page

                'Counter/Balance' - ArtCan Group show - Trinity Art Gallery - London

                BBC, HBO & Bad Wolf Productions - 6 Commissioned Landscape Paintings - Season 2

               'Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials'

              Represented by ArtCan.org - London

              'The Goddess Sittings' feature Lipszine Blog artists feed

              Talk & Oil Painting Studio Session with art students from Nannawauk High School - Connecticut, USA

              Oil Painting Demo - Woodhall School, Connecticut, USA

              Oil Painting Demo  - 550 Gallery, Connecticut, USA

                5 week Artist Residency provided by Jenna Gonzalez - Connecticut, USA

              Interview and photoshoot - Portrait of Frome/Tom Hull Photography

             'The Goddess Sittings'  Artitorial feature - Volup2 Blog

             Guest Interview about 'The Goddess Sittings' project - Somerset Cool - Frome FM

             'The Goddess Sittings' online feature - Brenda Magazine Blog

             'The Goddess Sittings'  a self realised project immortalising the power of women -  UK, USA  

 

2018  Interviewed & Work featured - Brenda Magazine; Issue 3 Red

          Guest Interview about Solo Show - Somerset Cool - Frome FM

           'Ive Fallen So Far, For The People You Are' - Solo Show - The Ropewalk Arts Pub - Bristol

          'Ive Fallen So Far, For The People You Are' - Solo Show - The Silk Mill Gallery - Somerset

          Ministry of Fabulous Abominations Memorial Exhibition - Group Show - Liverpool

          Somerset Art Weeks Open Studios - Frome, Somerset

          Pre selected for RWA Open Exhibition

          Clifton Arts Club Open Exhibition - Group Show - Bristol

          '6x6'  - Group Show - Why Gallery - Frome, Somerset

          'Sisters Dem Good' - Group Show - The Ropewalk Arts Pub - Bristol

          'Incognito' - Group Show - ART 23, The Old Biscuit Factory - London

          'Fe/Male' - Group Show - AIR Gallery - Manchester

 

2018  BBC, HBO & Bad Wolf Productions - 3 Commissioned Abstract Paintings - Season 1

          'Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials'

2018  Netflix & Eleven Film - 3 Commissioned Portraits for Season 1 'Sex Education' 

2018  Private collector - Commissioned Portrait - London

2018  Private collector - Commissioned Portrait - Yorkshire

2018  Balance Therapy - Commissioned Hand painted sign for shop frontage - Cardiff

2018  Private collector - Commissioned Portrait - Somerset

 

2017  Represented by Gallery & Barrow  - Bath

          Rotating selection of work for sale/sold - The Ropewalk Arts Pub - Bristol

          'La Galleria Summer Exhibition' - Group Show - La Galleria - London

          Pre selected for RWA Open Exhibition 

          Pre selected for Columbia Threadneedle Prize

          Novella Coffee Shop - Commissioned Piece - Australia

          Private Collector - 2 Comissioned Portraits - Australia

 

2016  'These Little Walls' - Solo Show - 123 Space - Bristol

2016  Private collector - Commissioned Piece - Bristol

2016  Private collector - Commissioned Piece - Bristol

2016  Private collector - Commissioned Piece - Bristol

 

2013  Private collector - Commissioned Piece - Bristol

2013  Private collector - Commissioned Piece - Cardiff

 

2010  'Wolf & Beads' - Solo Show - Byron Bay - Australia

2010  Private collector - Commissioned Piece - Australia

2010  Treehouse Bar & Restaurant - 3 Commissioned Murals - Australia

AVAILABLE WORKS

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