Sarah Pickstone


Sarah Pickstone was the First Prize Winner of the John Moores Painting Prize 2012. She was previously a John Moores Prize Winner in 2004 and in 1991 was awarded a Rome Scholarship in Painting.

Pickstone studied at the Royal Academy Schools London, for a post-graduate degree in Painting 1988-1991; this followed a BA in Fine Art at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne 1983-1987.

Selected exhibitions include: John Moores 2012, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2012. Layers, John Moores Painting Prize show, Seongnam Art Centre, Korea, 2010. Double Interview, Group show, I-MYU projects and Seoul art space Seoul, Korea. Irony and Gesture, Kukje Gallery, Seoul, 2008. Sarah and Simon, Platform, London, 2006. Morpho Eugenia, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Republicca di San Marino, Italy. Park Life, Clifford Chance, London, 2005. John Moores 23, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. The Park, Platform, London 2004. Hortulus Animae, Eremo di S. Caterina, Isola d’Elba, Italy, 2002.

Pickstone works from her studio at Cubitt in central London. She has exhibited widely and has work in The Saatchi Collection.


“What would the play of thought look like, if we could see thought? Sarah Pickstone’s park pictures are a versatile and liberating act, a meld of vision and thought come together into an embodiment of both.

They take what we think we recognise or already know – landscape, portrait – and by means of fusion and metamorphosis redefine and revitalise both. Her device, an investigation of the image of the writer in nature, particularly of the writers who’ve happened to pass through one particular green London landscape over the course of several centuries, or of one green landscape through which so much cultural thought, invention and creativity has by both chance and design passed, actually banishes time, redraws notions of fertility and uncircumscribes fixity of both image and expectation.

It’s an act of transformation with an eye to the place where lifeforce meets the thinking eye itself. It’s a body of work galvanised by the fluidity of the mind and the symmetry connected to reflection. It’s a simultaneous re-creation and understanding of psychological, diachronic and geographical space, and a defying of the borders between them. These paintings, lit by their own leafy syntax, by a deep sourced and communal imagination, fuse the mind, art, nature and the thinking spirit into an affirmation as big and unfussed as a sky.'”
– Ali Smith, May 2011


Sarah Pickstone