‘Sarah Gillespie is an extraordinarily talented artist who creates works on paper of remarkable depth and texture; indeed it is surprising for people when they see the work for the first time that she is only using ink, charcoal and paper to create these most beautiful images. Inevitably she works slowly and so to have the pleasure of seeing a number of her works together at one time is rare and on no account to be missed. (...) Her awareness of the ephemeral nature of this very real world imbues the images she makes with a sadness that is as compelling as it is poignant, but then such is life…and death.’ -Stoker Devonshire
‘She is fascinated by the play of light and dark that breaks down the boundaries between solid and liquid, or the way in which a flurry of tangled lines can knit together disparate forms’ - Revd. Dr. Richard Davey
‘My father - a first generation Irish immigrant - took one look at me and said, ‘well, if you’re going to be an artist, you’d better go to Paris. I remember being bundled into the car at 4.00 am one morning, with my portfolio in the back and setting off for Calais. (...) I don’t remember much about any of them (the interviews) until we drove up the long laurel fringed drive in Verneuil Sur Seine to the Atelier Neo-Medici. Verneuil is in the banlieue, just outside the city itself, on the way to Giverny. The house was one of those huge timber framed Norman piles and I could smell the linseed and turpentine from outside as I climbed out of the car. What happened next was falling in love.
The Atelier, as its name suggests, along the lines of a renaissance workshop. The ‘Master’ was Professor Patrick Betaudier. A French Trinidadian by birth who was educated at Cambridge, he was charismatic, intellectual and brilliant. After doing his National Service in the RAF, he then attended St Martins College of Art. (...) He believed, like Van Eyck, that paintings must strive to unite Heaven and Earth and that the Atelier formed a bridge from a painting’s distant past to its living present. His extensive research of the Masters of the Northern and Italian Renaissance was evident in his own extraordinary work. I knew immediately that I didn’t want to be anywhere else. I’d never seen painting like it.’ - Sarah Gillespie
‘Consider the hair on a bee’s leg, or the tender fluff of the feathers of a moorhen’s belly, or a single ripple on the surface of a moonlit estuary. In this hasty electronic age we have almost lost the capacity to observe such minute and exquisite details of the everyday, the small miracles of natural life that surround us, eloquent in their silent testimony. Sarah Gillespie knows how to look, and to listen to these fleeting or fragmentary elements: in her recent work each is imbued with a vital energy of its own that brings the insect, or the bird, or the landscape out of stillness into life’. - Nicholas Mann, Professor Emeritus of Renaissance Studies at the University of London