Sarah Harvey was born in London in 1981. She completed her education at Chelsea School of Art and Newcastle University, graduating in 2004. She has a studio at the Bow Arts Trust in East London.
In 2003 Harvey won the Bartlett Travel Scholarship whilst studying at Newcastle University. She subsequently visited Florence and the surrounding areas of Tuscany, and it was during this trip she happened upon a green swimming pool that has inspired much of her work to date.
"My paintings of figures floating are predominantly self portraits. I aim to create paintings that arouse both a sense of well being and pleasure, whilst simultaneously suggesting notions of insecurity, fantasy and sexuality. Entirely suspended by the water, the human forms are fragmented by the ripples and swirls created by the water, abstracting them, and often with implausible results such as the appearance of disfiguration or distortion. I have become increasingly excited about the abstract elements in these works, and the interplay between light, colour and water. The emerging patterns are becoming more apparent and dominant, drawing the eye not only towards the main focal point of the human form, but also to the surrounding areas, which are of equal significance.
I am greatly influenced by Francis Bacon's Carcass and crucifixion paintings, and of course by the work of Jenny Saville. Both of these figurative artists are intensely intrigued by the imagery of flesh - in both ugly and magnificently beautiful ways."