Sandy Sykes was born in Yorkshire, England and is a painter, printmaker and maker of artist’s books. Since 1970 Sykes has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally in solo and group shows, some of which have toured in Britain, Europe, USA and Russia. Her work is held in numerous Private and Public Collections including Tate Britain, Victoria and Albert Museum, The Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Sandy Sykes is a featured artist in “Critical Mass-Printmaking Beyond the Edge” by Richard Noyce, and“Printmakers Secrets” by Anthony Dyson, she was an Award winner at “International Print Triennial Krakow 2009” and a finalist in The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2009.
Her work centres around drawing with concerns related to persistent newspaper coverage of slaughter, mayhem and disaster. So prevalent and explicit are the pictures we feed off every day that we are no longer troubled by the images and our retention of the visual information is cursory and dismissive. Sykes uses humour and a dark wit to present the dilemma.
Drawing the comic turmoil of cowboy games of war, the fixed, funny and formal postures of the perpetrators revolve slowly in the mythical morass to reveal more realistic, believable figures of contemporary soldiers in attack or surrender stance. Flashed in the starkness of static action for tabloid consumption they are transformed and transcended in pencilled immutability. Unspecified uniforms lead to questions of guilt or innocence, friend or foe, hero or villain. Whose side are they on?
Sandy Sykes showed at Wharepuke in Dec 2012