Sky's the limit for Bandon artist

November 12th, 2018 5:22 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Artist Sarah Long from Bandon featured on the popular Sky Arts painting programme ‘Landscape Artist of the Year' (Storyvault Films)

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THE sky is indeed the limit for artist Sarah Long, who not only featured in the popular Sky Arts’ Landscape Artist of the Year recently, but is also working towards two of her own shows in Cork next year.

The talented 23-year-old artist from Bandon, who graduated with an honours degree in Fine Art from Crawford College of Art & Design and is a former pupil of Coláiste na Toirbhirte,  featured in the third heat of the popular television series.

Her episode was filmed at Lough Fyne in Inveraray in Scotland earlier this summer and Sarah was sworn to secrecy right up to the transmission date about how she fared in the competition, having being chosen from hundreds of other competing artists.

While she didn’t make it through to the semi-finals of the series, Sarah told The Southern Star that she really enjoyed the experience.

‘It was a great experience and the judges liked my piece and said it was an unique approach to take on a landscape painting,’ said Sarah.

‘It was my first time in Scotland and it was something different, too, as I had to paint outside and it was also a great way to put my name out there.’

Having been a fan of the show, Sarah decided to apply back in June and had to submit two landscape paintings. She was delighted to make the cut and was then invited over to Scotland in July for the filming of her heat. ‘There were eight people in my heat, a mix of painters, drawers and even a lady with a sewing machine. Filming lasted a whole day and I was only allowed to tell close family members that I made it on the show and how I got on,’ Sarah explained. 

It was standing room only, naturally enough, in Clancoolbeg in Bandon last week when Sarah sat down to watch the programme with her parents, Eilish and Charlie, as well as her nieces and nephews.

‘It was a bit strange seeing myself on television, but they were all proud of me,’ added Sarah.

Using a variety of materials like chalk, oil, pastel, charcoal and pencil, Sarah ended up selling six of her pieces at her degree show in June. 

On top of that, she was also the 2018 recipient of the Ciarán Langford Memorial Bursary at Backwater Artists Group on Wandesford Quay in Cork and has been settling in there.

As well as being a talented artist, Sarah spent the summer working as an intern at the Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen, where she gave public tours of the popular Coming Home: Art and The Great Hunger exhibition and she also wrote a blog for them, an experience she says that she thoroughly enjoyed.

For now, Sarah is busy working in her studio as she prepares for two of her own shows, which will be exhibited in the Sternview Gallery and Studio 12 in Cork city next year.

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