Sara Freeman: No such thing as solid ground

Suki & Hugh Gallery, Bungendore
23 May 2020 to 28 June 2020
Paintings in egg tempera & beeswax
Gallery open (with social distancing) : 10am to 4pm Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 May
Also online from 22 May at

Text courtesy Susan Foxlee

The making of No such thing as solid ground has been a purifying experience for Sara Freeman, a way of processing the events of the past six months.

For Sara, like many of us, the chaos of the pandemic compounded the anxiety of a Summer of fires. These events further exacerbated the trauma she was already suffering following the death of her father in October last year.

Barbie talks to Sara Freeman about No such thing as solid ground

Sara’s use of and connection to colour within this body of work is powerful. The bushfire inspired works are emotive and raw. They conjure scenes many of us are familiar with and disturbed by but there is a serenity, brought forward by Sara’s meditative carved patterns. The time taken, and attention given is obvious and brings a quietness to the works.

It was only when the rain finally came that Sara was able to contemplate the blue works. The world greening again, the nervous system calming, watching skies clear, plants and animals flourish, and pollution levels drop. And despite the suffering the pandemic is causing, the slowing down, unravelling and coming home is a blessing. A time to come to terms with many things as the frenzy of humanity slows to a more peaceful pace.

In a time of mass upheaval, the practice of Zen has been more important than ever for Sara. The acceptance of the reality of now and being truly present in life can be transformative and energising.

My father was a painter and as a child I used to sleep with the smell of turpentine wafting through the house knowing he was working away on big canvases late in the night. The three big bushfire paintings in the show are a homage to his glorious landscapes with big rolling skies, as well as my need to cleanse and distil the horrifying visions of flames engulfing the places that I love.

. . . Painting is my practice in action – preparing the panels with layer after layer of wax, then chance-like layering of many coloured washes, followed by a meditation of sitting quietly marking the surface, attending to its entirety. And the surprise of how those layers and moments of time finally come together in this silver threaded tracing of the timeless.

Sara Freeman

The exhibition opens on Saturday 23 March 2020. Sara will be in the gallery between 1 & 4 pm to chat and answer your questions about her process and inspiration. Social distancing will be observed and as such there will be no drinks or nibbles.