In the work of Sarah Biggs the intersections of subjectivity and objectivity, figure and environment, self and other are examined and played out in virtuosic manipulations of luminous oils. The artist’s highly successful debut exhibition Further afield, presented by Barnard Gallery in October 2015, officially introduced viewers to what has proved to be an enduring interest for the artist: the notion of “the field”, and all that it implies – research, observation, the natural environment, taxonomy and exploration. In a significant shift, Biggs zooms in and focuses in her second solo exhibition Waiting for Rain (2017) on the human figure rather than presenting it as a humble constituent within an overwhelming, precipitous landscape.
Since graduating with distinction from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2013 – where she was awarded the Judy Steinberg Award for Painting – the artist’s work has been included in a number of significant group exhibitions in South Africa. In 2015 Biggs won the TASA Award, presented annually by the Turbine Art Fair and the Sylt Foundation to an emerging artist living in South Africa. This award takes the form of a two-month residency at the Sylt Foundation’s headquarters on the island of Sylt, Germany that the artist undertook in April and May of 2016. Barnard Gallery presented her paintings at the Cape Town Art Fair (2015-2017), Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg (2016), and AKAA (Also Known as Africa), Paris (2017).