About the Artist - Sarah Fordham
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About the Artist - Sarah Fordham

Aspiring Sydney artist Sarah Fordham will unveil her first series of paintings at Norton Gallery, at McMahons Point on July 12.

An art teacher at North Sydney’s prestigious Monte Sant’ Angelo College, Sarah, 25, has been working towards her exhibition for the past six months.

Her works have proven popular with private collectors to date, prompting her debut showing. “Norton Gallery is enthused to present these new oil-on-canvas works by a young and talented painter,” says owners Mike and Denise Norton.

Sarah has long been inspired by the colour and vitality of the sea. Her paintings are rich with vibrant colour and vivid imagery.

Her latest works on canvas are images stimulated by the travel journals she has kept over the years. Born in San Francisco, Sarah has travelled extensively to all corners of the globe, spending extended periods in Europe and the United States. She also counts memories of fishing with her grandfather Tom McDermott, catching her first Rainbow Fish and searching endlessly in rockpools as a child as influencing factors.

“The repetition of images such as the fish and the tigerlily are personal signatures rather than symbols with layered meanings,” explains Sarah, who majored in painting at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW.

Sarah balances her life between teaching art and painting. “I love teaching as it gives me so much satisfaction to witness students develop their own personal love for art,” she says. “I find that being an artist gives me a great base from which to teach as I can speak with some experience.”

Next September, Sarah plans to take her talents to New York to realise a long-held ambition to live the life of a painter in The Big Apple. “It will be a great opportunity for me as an artist and hopefully my work will find new direction with a change of environment. However, I will always be a Sydney girl. Images of Sydney Harbour evoke feelings of an Australian sense of leisure and lifestyle which are not easily erased.”

Her exhibition at Norton Gallery will be appropriately entitled Fishscapes. It will be opened by prominent winemaker Brian McGuigan, a great supporter of innovative and enthusiastic young Australians.

“McGuigan Wines is delighted to be sponsoring Sarah’s exhibition. As a close friend of the Fordham family, I have enjoyed watching her talents expand over the years,” he said. “There’s a good chance Sarah’s work will feature on our labels in the future.”