SaraBreinlinger Portrait.heic


I was born in London, but I had a very itinerant childhood moving from country to country through Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  There weren’t many constants, but making, painting and drawing were always a way for me to make sense of things. When you move around so much I think you have to build creative ways of making sense and decoding the world. This putting together of disparate parts is something that still fascinates me in my art practice today.


Returning to London I went to art school, but went on to study psychology and some years after earning my PhD, went on to train as a psychotherapist. I have lived and had an art studio in Hackney, East London for the last 20 years and for many years now have maintained my art practice alongside my work as a psychotherapist.  


My richly textured, saturated abstract paintings and collages evolve from a process of improvisation and experimentation. The work is driven by a very tactile process of constructing and deconstructing using a variety of methods and materials from paper, painting, assemblage and sewing. I’m cutting bits up, reworking, reconfiguring and repairing. In my larger paintings a more methodical process takes over.  I use my collages to inform my compositions but the elements are usually all in fact just painted. 


In all my work displaced forms, fragments, memories and colours are pieced together and built on one another to create new connections and meanings. I think of it as a disorderly attempt to make sense of things and I’m usually aiming in the finished pieces, for a way of creating some order that can contain life’s disorder.  So it’s both the creation of order in the chaos, but where a tension remains, where something in the piece still calls for resolution - a disequilibrium which speaks to the complexity, strangeness and messiness of life.