sadie tierney news

A three part commission for the newly designed building of the Admiral Lord Nelson School in Portsmouth

I was commissioned to make a floor design for the staff and student entranceways to the new building of the Admiral Lord Nelson School in Portsmouth. The floor vinyl in the older building was designed by an artist called John Patsalides 30 years ago and was based on a river as a metaphor. For my design, I wanted breaking waves on a beach to link with his work, but to place the new floor in 2021 here in Portsmouth, England’s only island city. I used my drawings of waves from Southsea beach to create a design for the different shaped entrances. The apprentice who laid the first floor many years ago, returned as company manager to lay this specially fabricated new floor. 
The second part of the commission is a large scale woodcut. This is installed in the entranceway, is based on drawings made from the shore of Langstone Harbour to the east of the school, facing Bow Hill. The drawings were carved into wood blocks in my Hotwalls studio at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour, and printed by hand at Omega Print Studios, also in Portsmouth. The finished print hangs on a West facing wall, so the viewer faces east towards Langstone Harbour. It is framed in a museum grade hardwood frame, and glazed in perspex.

The final part of the commission is a 20 metre mural painted in a beautifully designed leafy courtyard on a north facing wall. The viewer faces in the direction of Southsea Beach, the Solent and beyond, which is the inspiration for the painting. I tried to include as many features of the landscape as possible; sea forts, boats, ships, sea swimmers, and beach vegetation. The sea kale in particular is unique to this kind of habitat, and very reminiscent of the view. I have used predominantly school house colours (cyan, bright green, purple and grey) in this woodcut. During the project it was great to meet the students who helped direct the development of the project. 

The three artworks, when taken together are intended to create an uplifting sense of place for the students and staff, hopefully enabling a connection to the unique location of their beautifully designed school. Many thanks to the architect Andrew Malbon for his vision and skill.




Following The National Museum in Gdańsk acquiring two of my paintings, I was delighted to receive this beautiful catalogue in the post. The publication accompanies “The Collection”, an exhibition of 140 works, acquired through the Basil Alkazzi and Halima Nałęcz Fund. Grateful for the generous comments in the accompanying text, and to be included in such an important public gallery collection alongside a mind blowing line up of artists including #davidhockney #nanashiomi #isabelyoungart #bazilalkazzi #simonwillems #rennytait #paulhuxley #lucyjones #elizabethfrink #kayedonachie #matthewburrows #joetilson #grahamcrowley #elizabethblackadder

The Collection, Basil Alkazzi’s Gift to the National Museum in Gdańsk



depart-a-la-nuit-2mbDépart à la Nuit, acrylic on paper, 38 x 56cm, 2014

Solent Sunset, acrylic and pencil on paper, 64 x 87cm, 2014






“Cables”, acrylic on Somerset Satin 400gsm paper, 50 x 75 cm, 2021

“I live in a city but I felt a great yearning for the mountains last year especially, during the pandemic. This painting was made in response to a visit to Switzerland. It was amazing to be immersed in a vast, wild landscape and watch the tiny precarious cable cars carrying people to the mountain tops, a fragile but constant connection to the enormity and visual permanence of nature on a grand scale. I tried to convey how I felt when I looked at the scene through the expressive marks and colours of the sky.”

cable cars gondola

A graduate of the Royal College of Art, London, the artist works in a tradition of painter printmakers who abstract shape and colour to explore subject matter and express human emotion. Objects and places where form is linked to feeling, metaphor and movement or change are explored through celebratory use of colour and line. The vibrant and expressive paintings use drawings made in situ as their source material.

Selected solo exhibitions include Flowers East Gallery, Rabley Drawing Centre, Angela Flowers Ireland, Eton College and Aspex Gallery.

Public Collections include Gdańsk Museum, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Eton College, The Royal Navy, Baker & MacKenzie and Clifford Chance.

Last week I had a very engaging IGTV online talk with Curator Lizzie Glendinning from Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair. The discussion was part of their ‘In the Frame’ series, and covered many topics including the importance of art through the pandemic, culminating in me running a plate through the star wheeled etching press I have installed my kitchen. The talk is still available to be viewed here, and in conjunction with this I have 14 new woodcuts featured in their Flash Print Drop Sale until 2nd May.





Three new woodcuts launch at The London Original Print Fair with Rabley Gallery, until 29 May 2021.

A few years ago I travelled to Tokyo in the spring around cherry blossom time.  I wanted to see Japan’s most iconic mountain Mount Fuji, but with sightings from Tokyo averaging only 70 days a year – less in April -I took a train to Lake Kawaguchi to get closer in the hope of a glimpse. I arrived at night, but when I opened the curtains in the morning the sight of Mount Fuji perfectly framed and set against a brilliant blue sky is an image that has stayed with me since.  I spent time drawing at all times of the day and in different weather conditions. A powerful symbol of a nation, sometimes crystal clear at other times lost in haze and fog, symmetrical and timeless -it is as if it has always been there and always will be. But experts think after more than 300 years it’s due to erupt soon. I felt blessed to have seen it at all, and the feelings of awe, transcience and feeling tiny in the enormity of its presence stayed with me and is still informing an ongoing series of work. Reflections in still water are a recurring theme in this new body of work, and using the theme as a mirror and a space for contemplation.

I chose the medium of woodcut for its very physical properties, and of course though I used modern machines and tools to carve my lines, the use of woodblock and the subject matter make reference to the great Japanese masters of printmaking – in particular Hokusai’s incredible series made around 200 years ago. My woodcuts are made in at least three colours with graduated blends at Omega Printworkshop in Portsmouth and printed on a Rochat etching press. I am hoping to describe the changing colours and light by working in a series of prints in two sizes.

Fujisan 1: Daybreak, woodcut, edition 20, 1/20

Fujisan 3: Lake Saiko, woodcut, edition 20, 1/20

Fujisan 2: Long Night, woodcut, edition 20, 1/20


fuji2fuji1  fuji3


This year Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair is online running from November 12th until December 13th. The show which is navigable via an online platform, comprises open submission curated hang, alongside galleries. It also includes a solo stand for the Boodle Hatfield Printmaking Prizewinner.

Shortlisted works for this award and solo show were chosen by the Art Law Team from the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair 2019 curated hang. Selected artists were Anna Marrow, Penny Henkes, JohnPedder, Emma O’Hara, Sadie Tierney, Bina Shah.

Sadie Tierney took home the winning prize for her lithograph “Utpåturaldrisur: Westwater Screes’ (2019) which was purchased by Boodle Hatfield for their collection, at a reception at the prestigious Law Firm’s stunning riverside offices in Blackfriars.

Sadie Tierney was awarded the dedicated space at the 2020 edition of the fair for a solo exhibition of her work. The artist created a new series of 14 woodcuts for the show, around the theme of mountains.

“This year I have been thinking a lot about isolation and wild places. Living in a crowded city has focused this, and as well as imagining being alone in nature I took a trip to the Alps in January and again in August. The new series sprang from the drawings I made there, trying to capture the quiet but vital solitude and recording the seasonal change, and reflecting on events. These are unpeopled landscapes, but human activity is present. There is a mountain church and clock in “Raumzeit”. In the mountains, in the snow, I am much more aware of my own mortality and the tiny fragile place I hold in space and time. Still water is a recurring theme and reflections as a mirror and a space for contemplation. “Sampan” has a distinct nod to Far Eastern printmaking, and the rich history of contemplation in nature and our place within awe inspiring places.

“The treacherous icy roads at 2000-plus-meters inspired the “Verglas” Prints, the changing views and light conditions as well as the weather, and our vulnerability in wild places. The variable editions grew out of studying the changing light on the mountain views over the course the day, and varying the inking to create a more accurate and interesting way to record and represent this change. The editions of variables are printed off the same block but in different colour ways, making each print in the edition unique” (Sadie Tierney)

Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair 2020

Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair 2020

1. Verglas, Edition Variable of 15, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
2. Verglas, Edition Variable of 15, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
3.Verglas, Edition Variable of 15, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
4. Verglas, Edition Variable of 15, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
5. Sampan, Edition of 15, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
6. Les Réflexions, Edition of 15, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
7. Raumzeit, Edition Variable of 15, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
8. Contemplation, Edition Variable of 15, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
9. Les Réflexions (Nocturne), A/P, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
10. Mittilagart, Edition Variable of 15, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
11. Draumr, Edition Variable of 15, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
12. Bilröst (Between the Worlds), A/P, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
13. La Glace, Edition Variable of 15, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm
14. Lake Bled, Edition Variable of 15, woodcut on Somerset Satin, 56 x 38 cm2020 woolwich wall man 02 (2nd)

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It’s up & on the wall! At Varnishing Day @royalacademyarts with my print ‘Bilröst (Between the Worlds)’. Lovely to catch up with wonderful artists @saraleeartist @katherinejones_pp @p.ainslie @juliahamiltonartist @leighalanclarke @tomhunterphotography @cordbrowicz @bronwensleigh @neilbousfield @sumi_perera @loudavisart @davidpeduzziprints @atelier_dant @timshawsculptor @ddavidmprice @burke1913 #markhampson #nanashiomi #emmastibbon & more- the RA hospitality was 👌 🥂Thanks for the photo Nana Shiomi 👍 . . . . . . . . . #rasummerexhibition #rasummer #ra #royalacademysummerexhibition #rasummerexhibition2019 #contemporaryprintmaking #handmadeprint #woodcut #artnow #contemporaryart #artcollectors #printmakers #artlondon #printmaking #sadietierney #fjord #norway #originalprint

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New commissioned prints

June 11th, 2019
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Here’s an image of my commissioned prints from @printfestulverston one week ago already. Such a great event and so well attended, thank you again to the organisers and all the wonderful printmakers and visitors! Back in Portsmouth now and tonight I’m giving a short slide talk @artspaceportsmouth as part of their 20×20 event 7-9, free to attend……. 🔝Utpåturaldrisur: Wastwater Screes and Great Gable, 37x56cm, edition of 20, beautifully printed by @atelierji and hand finished by me . . . . . . . . . . #artspaceportsmouth #artiststudios #artiststalks #printfest19 #printfestulverston #drypoint #printmaking #intaglio #ukprintmakers #markmaking #handmadeprints #printfair #worksonpaper #creativeprocess #sketch #somersetsatin #wastwater #sadietierney #lakedistrict #mountains #landscape #wabisabi #fukinsei #picturesquemovement

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