• Sadie Phew

Abstract Expressionist Absurdism then.

Updated: Mar 19

Hi everyone. Welcome to my first ever blog post. I have been busy these last couple of months. I dramatically changed direction in life by quitting a job that was causing me damage and starting to focus on doing things I love instead, like abstract painting and absurdist performance. The last year or so has been perhaps the most difficult in my life which I have spent healing from trauma and I feel very grateful to be in a good place, feeling positive and energetic about my work, my life and what I have to offer the world.

My ideas have evolved since I first considered going self-employed. I was originally planning on setting up a painting AND decorating AND cleaning AND gardening company, which also did murals and sold paintings sometimes..... Phew! Luckily I managed to get a little more focused through some life coaching and realised I was putting alot of effort to my Plan B's and wouldn't leave myself time to do what I actually want to do. Even though I can do all those other things too it's not what gets me excited. I found it useful to hone what it is I do and it feels good to concentrate on my Plan A for a change.

So I made some logos and I sent them to friends for feedback. Self doubt crept in. I descended into a logo design pit of despair, getting hung up on every tiny detail about the fonts, layouts and what I'm about. It was really useful at this stage to be working with Arts Marketing pro Clare Lowe who made the final decision which I'm really happy with. I needed someone else to step in otherwise I feel like I would be going round in circles forever. I built a website, a Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter account and officially birthed my art business into the world.

I am testing out my idea for a collaborative commissioning process at the moment. I've roped in a few friends to start off with and look forward to seeing how it goes. Thank you to my friends who've let me guinea pig them. Zoe, Elma, James you are legends. I led them through questions and visualisation exercises to try to find out more information, feeding into the final artwork. Manifesting futures seems to be a popular choice, as well as cats, and favourite things like bicycles. A double thanks to James Hill who is an Acupuncturist operating in Clifton and is currently treating me. I highly recommend him.

I found the process of making a website useful for honing what my personal art practice is about. It took a long time to write my artist profile. It is so difficult. I grappled with feeling vulnerable and exposed and dealing with my inner critic making me feel inadequate. I have studied clowning and fooling with Holly Stoppit these past few years and learned some techniques to deal with this which have been useful lately. My artwork is very linked in with this though as it's all about: inner landscapes, masks, emotions, therapy, mental health and the physiology of trauma.

As well as my visual art I'm part of an Absurdist Performance Clown duo, Hazmat & Covid, alongside Gen Davis. We'll be delivering some socially distanced and ridiculous street performances in the next few weeks commissioned by Oblique Arts with funding from Arts Council England. We will start with The Bristol Coddywomple on Sunday 26th July, which is an ambling street performance in St Anne's from 6-8pm and should be fun and a great debut for this adventurous duo. We have been rehearsing for two months and are excited to bring Hazmat & Covid out to play.

Feel free to get in touch with messages of support and encouragement or support me via Patreon. If you are interested in my artwork, commissions or sales, let me know. And lastly, thank you to all my friends who have been there for me in the tough times. xx


Sadie Phew

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