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Sarah Graham

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Having been handed a set of oil paints by her father for the first time as an excited 8 year old with a prodigious talent for the creation of art, Hitchin born and bred contemporary fine artist, Sarah Graham has barely looked back, as she’s looked to forge a successful career as a professional still life exponent in recent years. Suggested that involving herself in painting would distract her mind from wandering towards boredom during weekends and school holidays, Graham immersed herself in her oils throughout her formative years growing up in Hertfordshire, before deciding on taking it further from an education perspective when the opportunity arose.

Choosing to study Art and Design at B/TEC National Diploma level at North Herts College in her home town in 1996, Graham followed this up with a Batchelor of Arts Degree in Fine Art at Leicester’s De Montford University thereafter. eventually graduating in 2000, Graham didn’t experience a huge amount of encouragement or positive feedback from relationships she attempted to forge with local art galleries during her final year at Uni, but this didn’t deter her or effect her confidence in her own abilities, and put on a successful degree show when the time came, as well as having her work showcased at Leicester’s Hogshead Gallery in the end.

On the back of this, Graham’s final year work also found favour with a successful stint exhibiting at that summer’s Affordable Art Fair which took place in London. Yet this still didn’t herald the start of her creative career as such, despite all of her best efforts documented and more besides, and Graham realised that she had to secure an alternative means of employment at that juncture. Which materialised in the guise of a Stock Room Advisor in a local retail establishment close to her. Shortly afterwards Graham upped sticks and relocated to Reading, where along with a colleague she negotiated the use of a room above a public house, with both the sitting landlord and the brewery owners. The purpose of this space being to exhibit Graham’s art work and that of other promising artists in the locality, also struggling to get the necessary exposure via the more conventional means.

This proved to be an encouraging period for Graham, both working and showcasing her (then) current compositions from this somewhat makeshift studio and pop-up gallery space; or rather it was right up until the brewery in question pulled the plug on her promising enterprise. With the powers that be issuing a notice of eviction from the premises, Graham realised that desperate measures were required to capitalize on the creative strides and gains she’d hitherto made in this opportunistic environ, but first there was the not inconsequential job of finding temporary storage solutions for the back catalogue of work she’d created.
This path led to the door of Reading’s bizarrely named, 'The Jelly Leg'd Chicken' art gallery, who agreed to store it for her. As is often the case in these unprecedented situations, the unimagined happened and the gallery not only stored it on Graham’s behalf but also – suitably impressed with what they saw – exhibited in the front of shop. Less than 7 days later it was sold for £1,000. as these things turn out, this resulted in her being offered a part-time role in the gallery, as well as her own studio space, in return for looking after a nearby florist business until it relocated. Which apparently it was in the throes of doing.

Tragically Graham’s world was thrust upside down shortly afterwards when her father suddenly passed away after fighting a short illness, which resulted in the would-be fine artist returning to her native Hitchin in 2004. moving back into her family home to support her mother, Graham set up her childhood bedroom as a studio, and for the following four years she persevered with this living/working arrangement until such time as an act of desperation (and the contacting everyone in her phone book to determine an alternative working set-up) manifested the possibility of renting a converted barn outside of Hitchin. Throwing everything she had at the project, Graham dug deep both emotionally and physically to convert the barn space further for her artistic needs, and set about building up a reputation from thereon in.

That was then, and this is now, as Graham today enjoys a great working relationship with one of the UK’s most respected contemporary fine art publishers, Washington Green, who routinely help Graham reproduce her hallmark works for mass media purposes, characteristically based around her hugely popular, photo-realistic illustrations of instantly recognisable sweets and toys, which go down a treat to an admiring public (and collectors alike) both far and wide.