Sally's figurative oil paintings, and portraits, have a strong narrative and bold composition that provoke a feeling of curiosity from the viewer.
A witty charm and well observed sense of humor blends uniquely with a hintingly dark undercurrent.
"My larger works tend to be oil paints on canvas, and i like to vary the backgound texture by utilising aged canvas' and collaging maps and interesting pages from disguarded books. All the frames are repurposed too. Silk Screen printing trays, old pub signs and mirror frames turned round the wrong way.
I also make a range of smaller works, like little frescos, on pieces of wood, street signs, old leather, xrays, furniture...anything that has an interesting texture or character to it.
I work from a combination of life drawing, photographs and sketches.
"I am interested in the connection between viewer and subject, the artist being the middle woman. Bodies, people, their stories, their skin, the hidden shades and depths, from the inside out, a fabric that is always changing. Never predictable, always challenging and something i feel compelled to depict."
A hairdresser & make up artist for the BBC and a trained wig maker by trade, Sally Whelan can always be found, some sort of brush or tool in hand, with a toothy grin and a bad back.
Sally confesses to being a "hoarder of surfaces, textures, colours and memories" thus, painting and making has been an inevitable path for her since she was little.
She travelled extensively in her early 20's, and eventually landed in Byron Bay, Australia. She lived here for 3 years in an artistic collective making films, props, sets and experimenting with sculpture, collage, painting, murals and worrying attempts at taxidermy puppetry.
This was her education in the arts, a place of complete freedom to try new things surrounded by incredible scenic beauty and likeminded folk.
Sally had her first solo art exhibition "Wolf & Beads" in 2010, in Byron Bay.
Moving back to the UK in 2012 Sally worked for the BBC and painted in her spare time.
She showed in group shows in London with friends, before moving to Bristol, where she had her first UK solo exhibition "These Little Walls" in Stokes Croft, 2016.
Currently Sally works extensively on her own body of work, as well as comssioned oilpaintings for the TV and film industry, from her studio at The Silk Mill, Frome, Somerset, she also occasionally works as an assistant scenic and mural artist.
She has shown and sold her work internationally, including Australia, America, Canada, Europe and throughout the UK.
"Ears for days"
oils on canvas, framed by an old silk screen tray