Sarah goes from back office to front of house for new exhibition at Barnard Castle arts centre
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
A NORMALLY self confident arts venue manager said she feels “very shy” at the prospect of her own artistic offerings going on display for the first time.
Sarah Gent, who has been marketing manager at The Witham for the past three and a half years, said she is excited and nervous about showing her work for the first time as part of a month-long collaborative exhibition, Working Artists, which opened at The Witham on Friday, January 4.
Ms Gent was only introduced to linocut – a printmaking technique which involves cutting out a design in linoleum to leave a raised pattern that can be pressed onto paper – two years ago but has been inspired to follow her creative side since working at The Witham.
She said: “I turned 40 in 2017 and my mum bought me a linocut kit as a present. I have always been creative and trained as an English and drama teacher.
“I was hankering after doing something creative so when I got this little kit and enjoyed it so much I carried on.
“I truly believe art is about being creative and whatever way you want to express that is right and The Witham has helped me to get that.”
Ms Gent, who has recently moved from Ingleton to Mickleton, said the views from her new home have provided inspiration for the prints she has is developing. The pictures she is exhibiting have a nautical flavour, many with meaningful slogans.
One of her prints has particular significance as it is a saying her grandmother often said: “The loving of each other is the nicest thing we’ve got.”
She added: “I did a workshop with Sharon Loddey last year in Newcastle and she showed me all sorts of techniques and opened my mind up to so many different techniques and artists, which has helped me develop skills in linocut.
“When I did the chalk challenge it was really exciting as I really believe art is about expressing yourself in whatever form that may take.
“Working at The Witham has really helped me to have the confidence to just do it. But it’s strange now being front of stage instead of back stage.
“Doing the exhibition has made me very shy but I’m really pleased to be part of the group.
“I have to thank Tim, Jessica, Holly, Rachel and Angela [Cockburn’ and for all their support. Without them I wouldn’t be exhibiting.”
“I have been talking to a lot of people, including artist Ann Whitfield, who I really admire, and she was so enthusiastic about my work, it is what gave me the confidence to do this exhibition.”
Ms Gent’s linocut prints will are on display in The Witham gallery until Friday, February 1, alongside ten other working artists.