After the initial panic and fear over the coronavirus pandemic came the urge to paint it out. At least that was the case for Sarah Fenwick. Best known in Cyprus for being a jazz singer and owner of Sarah’s Jazz Club in Nicosia, Sarah has also been flirting with the painting world since 2013 and is now presenting an exhibition with pieces inspired by the lockdown days.
She didn’t start painting until the age of 47 after sustaining a head injury in a car accident. “Although the accident was traumatic,” she explained, “the good thing is that it shifted something in my psychology and the urge to express through painting became imperative. This was a surprise because up until then my focus was jazz music”.
Untrained but inspired by the rhythms and soul of jazz – freedom and self-expression – Sarah creates paintings on canvas in acrylics, watercolours and mixed media. For her current exhibition, she presents pieces she created during the lockdown, working from her jazz club which was closed due to the pandemic.
“I wanted to escape the zeitgeist of anxiety and instead, to create. To express something other than worry over Covid-19, which had become a full-time job,” she said.
“In a sense, we all became visual artists because our sole communication was virtual, on social media, through meeting software and so on. We literally became images of ourselves… It interests me because paintings are also an image, an idea we have of something or someone. It’s part of my artistic work to explore how our energy and characters appear in the world and what kind of impression they make,” she added.
The exhibition can now be visited at Sarah’s Jazz Club until October 30 although only by appointment (95-147711) with visitors wearing masks.
This isn’t her first exhibition. She’s held two solo exhibitions in the past and was part of a group showcase raising funds for an anti-domestic violence NGO. And of course, the lockdown isn’t her only source of inspiration. Typically, her artwork is based on seven basic ideas: Improvisation and Jazz music, tying in the past with the present, the beauty of Cyprus and the world, creation and our relationship with the Quantum field, beauty, destruction, entropy and their role in Creation, abstract realism and in the heart of all existence is an abstraction of greater Universal energy.
By Sarah Fenwick, inspired by the lockdown. Until October 30. Sarah’s Jazz Club, Nicosia. Daily: 10am-10pm. By appointment. Please call ahead to 95-147711. As of the time of writing, masks are mandatory indoors – please check for COVID-19 updates from the authorities.