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Research interests

Research Interests

Sarah Colbourne is a practising artist, with painting and drawing as her main media.

Her research-based practice explores the ways landscapes accumulate histories and how these accretions create a sense of place. Walking and drawing as ways of thinking therefore underpin her creative practice and she uses maps, geography, archaeology, and local history as areas of research to support and inform her work.  

Exploring this interplay of the past and present, her work focuses on elements lost and found in the landscape: the fragments, paths, boundaries, traces, edges and patterns that humans and other-than-humans have left behind. Walking is an essential part of her practice, through her understanding of memory and sensory experience as essential constituent parts of landscape. Her work evolves through a direct interaction of drawing and recording and she frequently revisits sites to explore the power of place and the hold this has. Her re-working and paring down of sketches made in the landscape help distill and transmit the essential feeling of place, embed a personal narrative in her work and add a durational quality to her process.

Her academic research at Brighton University focuses on drawing as creative inquiry. In particular Sarah teaches the Land and Sea elective taking students out in the field with a focus on the distinct qualities of local coastal environments. Her teaching focuses on a variety of experimental drawing methods, facilitating students to record an embodied personal experience and through this to find their own personal visual language to explore and record experience of place.

Keen on exploring interdisciplinary understandings of landscape and memory, Sarah has also worked in collaboration with landscape historians and an archaeologist from the national climate change project the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network. This field based research supports the different ways knowledge and ideas of recording  the distinct features of shorelines constantly shifting and altering through environmental change.

Education/Academic qualification

University of Brighton


Award Date: 1 Jun 2006

Master, University of Brighton


Award Date: 1 Feb 2003

Bachelor, Bradford College of Art


Award Date: 1 Jun 1995

External positions

Workshop leader-Firle Drawing Group

Sep 2020 → …

Workshop Leader, Kings Academy

2017 → …

Tutor/Workshop Leader, Charleston Farmhouse

2014 → …


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