Sara Dudman RWA British, b. 1964


From a child collecting buckets of crabs on the shoreline of the Stour Estuary or jam-jars full of sticklebacks caught in local streams, my heart has always been rural and coastal. The natural environment and its myriad of inhabitants with their interwoven relationships has been a constant fascination and the enduring locus of my artistic practice. CONNECTIONS are at the heart of everything I paint, draw or film.


The works presented here are responses to trips to the Helford River and the north Cornish coast in February 2020 – just before the coronavirus pandemic shook Europe. I have been visiting and re-visiting the Hayle RSPB reserve for a number of years, always excitedly anticipating which of the seasonal migratory birds might be feeding, or just taking a break on the low-tide mudflats and beaches during my visits. I am transfixed by the relationship between the birds and the expansive shores and the wet beaches. These characteristic, animated scenes are simultaneously a universal coastal experience, yet deeply rooted in a specific environment. Spending time alongside the Helford River felt like breathing space. A place to pause. It’s tranquillity and the gently rippling surface of the wide river with its inlets becomes a safe haven for so many wildlife species.


During my visits I spend time walking, drawing, videoing, note-taking and documenting experiences, sensations and observations. Walking stretches of the South West Coastal Footpath afford fabulous opportunities to breathe in, absorb and internalise the sights, sounds, movements and connections between myself, the birds, the rocks, cliffs and the sea. The works seek to balance the seemingly fragile and chaotic motion and transience of the birds against the expansiveness of the sea, shoreline and sky.


The paintings are created in layers, alternately recording and expressing both the substance and at times elusive essence of all aspects of the painting, identifying the relationship between them. Broad swathes of light and colour characterise and counterpoint the linear qualities in many of the works.  


‘Using the personal and interpretive possibilities of drawing and painting, yet derived from the immediacy and documentation of video, these works combine analysis and emotion.’


Born in 1964, Sara graduated with a BA (hons) in Fine Art from Loughborough College of Art and Design (1987), followed by a MA from De Montfort University, Leicester (1997). Sara has been shown in many solo, joint and group exhibitions widely in the Southwest, London, New York and Hamburg, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, The Jerwood Drawing Prize, BEEP2018 Contemporary Painting Prize, and The Society of Wildlife Artists’ exhibition, ‘The Natural Eye’. Sara has received several awards and prizes including in collaboration with fellow artist Debbie Locke RWA: Millfield Summer Show 2013 (prize-winner); John Singer Sargent Open, 2014 (Main Prize-winner); Thelma Hulbert Open, 2014 (First Prize-Winner). Sara has received grants from Arts Council England to develop and share her practice. Since 1997 Sara has worked in Arts education as a lecturer, artist in residence, curator and advisor.


Sara is a Royal West of England Academician. She is also a member of the National Society for Education in Art and Design.


Sara lives and works in Somerset and has been regularly exhibiting in Cornwall at the Porthminster Gallery for four years.


Sara Dudman RWA biography



De Montfort University, Leicester, Master of Arts, 1997

Loughborough College of Art and Design, Bachelor of Arts, 1987

Braintree College of Arts and Technology, Foundation Course in Art and Design, 1984


Selected Exhibitions:

2011 – 2017

ARTROOMS 2017, represented by National Open Art Competition, London

‘The Natural Eye’ Society of Wildlife Artists Exhibition 2016’, Mall Gallery, London

‘New Territories’, The Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre, Taunton 2016

164th RWA Open, Bristol 2016

‘Momentum and Walking’, Stroud Museum in the Park, Gloucestershire 2016

‘RWA@The Atkinson’, The Atkinson Gallery, Millfield 2016

Thelma Hulbert Open 2016, Honiton

Bath Society of Artists 111th Open Exhibition, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath 2016

Black Swan Open 2015, Frome

Affordable Art Fair Battersea 2015 + 2016, represented by One Church Street

Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2015 + 2016, RWS, Bankside Gallery, London

Academician Candidates 2015 Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol 2015

Quartz Festival 2012-2015, Taunton

SPAEDA Associates’, Great Bow Wharf, Langport 2015

H.I.V.E. 2015, Harrogate, represented by National Open Art Exhibition

'Selected Gallery Artists' Summer Exhibition 2015, One Church Street Gallery

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015

Drawn 2015, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

Painting Now 2014, One Church Street Gallery

National Open Art Exhibition 2014, Somerset House, London + Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2014, London, National Tour until June 2015

Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014, London, Guildford

The Evolver Prize 2014, Atkinson Gallery

ArtWorks Open 2014, Barbican Arts Group Trust, London

The Open West 2013, Newark Park and Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum

Artwave West Summer Exhibition 2013, Dorset

In Bloom 2013, Red Earth Gallery, Bickleigh

Fringe Arts Bath Open 2013, Bath

Drawn 2013, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

Resolutions 2013, The Musgrove Gallery, Taunton

Reigning Cats and Dogs 2013, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

Drawing Breath 2012, Langport

Skills Unearthed 2012, Blackdown Hills, Devon

Lutyens Gallery 2012, Hestercombe, Somerset

Inna Space 2011, The Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre

Crescent Contemporary 2011, Taunton

South West Academy Open 2011, Exeter

Fading Light 2011, Somerset

158 Autumn Open Exhibition 2011, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol


Selected Collaborative Exhibitions with artist Debbie Locke RWA

164th RWA Open, Bristol 2016

Evolver 2015, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Devon

Mostyn Open 19, 2015 Llandudno, Wales

Black Swan Open 2014 + 2015, Frome

Painting Now 2014, One Church Street Gallery

RWA Open 2014, Bristol

Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014, 2013, London, Guildford

A2 Gallery 2014, Wells

Thelma Hulbert Open 2014 + 2016 Honiton

Millfield Summer Show 2014, 2013 The Atkinson Gallery

John Singer Sargent Open 2014 + 2016, Broadway Arts Festival

ArtGemini Prize 2013, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London

Slice 2013, Hanmi Gallery, London


Awards / Residencies / Solo Exhibitions

Sara Dudman and Debbie Locke: Collaborative Works’ 2016, Black Swan Arts, Frome

Sara Dudman and Debbie Locke: Collaborative Works’ 2016, RWA, Bristol

Flock Together 2015, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Devon, solo exhibition of collaborative works by Sara Dudman and Debbie Locke RWA

Allenheads Contemporary Arts artist residency May 2015

Flock Together 2015, A2 Gallery, Wells, solo exhibition of collaborative works by Sara Dudman and Debbie Locke RWA

Black Swan Open 2014, Frome (solo show 2016 prize-winner in collaboration with Debbie Locke RWA)

REAL SOMERSET, A2 Gallery 2014, Wells (First Prize-winner in collaboration with Debbie Locke RWA)

Thelma Hulbert Open 2014, Honiton (First Prize-Winner in collaboration with Debbie Locke RWA )

Millfield Summer Show 2013, The Atkinson Gallery (prize-winner in collaboration with Debbie Locke RWA)

Brisons Veor artist Residency 2014, Cape Cornwall

John Singer Sargent Open 2014, Broadway Arts Festival (Main Prize-winner in collaboration with Debbie Locke RWA)

Drawn Collaborative artists residency (with Debbie Locke RWA) 2013 + 2015, RWA, Bristol

The Open West 2013 Workshops, Newark Park, August 2013 (in collaboration with Debbie Locke RWA)

Welcome Sight, Solo exhibition, Regal Theatre, Minehead, Somerset 2012

Walking Meditation, The Bomb Shelter, Beer, Devon, 2010



Academician, Royal West of England Academy

Blackdown Hills Artist and Makers (BHAAM) Secretary

National Society for Education in Art and Design


Education and Curatorial Practice

2015 – present:

Art education trainer and consultant, SPAEDA, Somerset

2013 – present:

Associate Lecturer in Art and Design Education, Creative Education

2013 – present:

Access Art 40 Artist Educators (selected artist educator)

2011 – 2013:

Visiting Lecturer, Exeter University and UWE, Bristol

2012 – 2015:

Curator, Musgrove Park Hospital and Quartz Arts Festival, Taunton

2010 – present:

Exhibitions interpretation and education specialist, including

- Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter 2011–15

- Anthony Gormley's 'Field for the British Isles' at Barrington Court, Somerset 2012

2010 – present:

Arts Award Advisor for Gold, Silver and Bronze

2009 – present:

Artist in Residence working with schools and teachers across the South West of England

2000 – 2009:

Full time Head of Art at secondary schools in the South West of England

1997 – 2000:

Subject Leader: PGCE Art and Design (secondary), UWE, Bristol



Making Art 16+, 2012, Devon and Cornwall County Councils