Art Across and Steven Heaton

'Composed from Silence', solo exhibition and talk

4th-27th October 2019

This project is one of the longest-term to date, and has been involving a long collaboration between Sara and contemporary artist Steven Heaton, which resulted in a curated solo exhibition, artist talk with art-historical presentation and Q&A.

The Story

Creative partnerships are one of the possible ways in which Sara works as freelance art historian, and they take each time a different form. In this case, Steven has been working on a new body of work, including paintings, block prints, mixed media and video pieces; as the work developed, Sara has been regularly visiting him in the studio, and they have been sharing long conversations – which have been recorded, as well as visits at various exhibitions.





The exchange between the artist’s perspective on past art, and particularly those painters he admires and is inspired by, and the historical point of view informed the collaboration and mutual enrichment. Sara has been witnessing various stages of the pieces being realised and created, from initial sketchbook entries and collage ideas to the final completed works, offering constructive insights, art historical knowledge, guidance and inspiration to the artist.

After Vermeer, The Art of Painting and after Caravaggio, St Matthew and the Angel

The Exhibition

As the body of work was taking shape, with the artist producing at an increasingly fast pace, the idea of showcasing the pieces all together in a solo exhibition started to feel the natural step forward. ‘Composed from Silence’, curated in Saul Hay Gallery, has been an exhibition of the creative process and its results, offering glimpses into the various steps behind the artworks, the artist’s working space, his inspirations and processes and how the work with Sara developed and influenced the pieces on display. Not just an art exhibition, but an exhibition of how art is made.

Several pieces sold during the exhibition, and some have been since exhibited in other shows, with one painting recently winning an award in an exhibition in London.

The Talk

As a closing event Sara and Steven organised a talk and Q&A. The first part of the event was led by Sara who, in line with her usual focus on connecting the present to the past, has briefly presented two examples of artistic collaborations from the history of art, highlighting how the combination of different types of creativity can be beneficial and stimulating. The second half of the evening has been a Q&A, with the public getting the chance to ask questions directly to the artist and to Sara as the curator of the exhibition.


Photos no. 1-3 by Renardo Jones © Renardo Jones 2020