Sarah Woodfine trained as a sculptor, and this is evident in her approach to landscape, architecture and optical illusion, which are recurrent themes in her work. Her drawings are often constructed as self-contained three-dimensional worlds reminiscent of architectural models and of children’s toys such as cut-out card castles and toy theatres.
Each element is drawn in pencil with a precision and clarity that suggest a perfectly observed reality, but also conjure up the obsessive hallucinatory character of a dream or fantasy. Accessible and intimate, this scene is made up of fragments and clues which invite viewers to invent their own stories.
Woodfine won the prestigious Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2004, and her work is vital evidence of the recent emergence of drawing as an independent art form and not merely a stage in developing work for other media.
This is an important acquisition for the V&A, which aims to collect drawings by contemporary artists that represent technical and conceptual innovation, and works which extend the conventional definitions of drawing. Newfoundland does all of this with elegance, wit and originality.