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  • Writer's picturejulie leach

Screen Print Purchased for Sayer Collection

September 2020

Photograph - - Geoff Pugh

I am absolutely delighted that one of my large screen prints, ‘Wind Dance V’, has been purchased for The Sayer Collection. The collection comprises over 400 works of art collected over more than 50 years by Tim Sayer MBE and includes works on paper, paintings, ceramics and sculptures.

'Wind Dance V - wind through the Pampas, 14 mph north north westerly, 140 minutes with wind through the Cypress, 12 mph westerly, 325 minutes (screen print - image 69 x 97 cm - ed.3/4)

My work will certainly be in good company as the collection includes works by some of the world’s greatest artists including Pablo Picasso, David Hockney, Henry Moore, Bridget Riley, Sonia Delaunay, Paul Nash, Alexander Calder, Anthony Caro, Naum Gabo and Gerhard Richter among others. As you can imagine this is a huge honour and I am more than a little awe struck.

Tim Sayer who is a retired BBC radio news journalist has been collecting work since his teens:

“I was 17 when I bought a portfolio of 183 prints (I counted them) for 10 shillings (50p) in a junk shop in Richmond. I’m still framing them. That started me and long shifts at the BBC meant time off to collect books and, increasingly, art.” Tim Sayer

The collection covers every square inch of his house in Islington, London, in fact he even had to do a rehang to fit my large 119 x 90 cm framed work on the wall.

“It’s arrived. It’s large. And it’s a beaut. Some rehanging is needed.” Tim Sayer

Tim discovered my work when he was asked by curator Graham Everitt (@gapinthemind) to choose a work from the New Wave Exhibition (@newwavewv3) at the Viner Gallery (@wgsart) in Wolverhampton to comment on with reference to a work in his own collection. I was thrilled that he chose my ‘Wind Dance V’ which he discussed in relation to a work by David Oates (@oates2001).

“This is: David Oates ‘Kiss 9@ 2007 oil on canvas on board 35 x 32 cm. It goes rather well with the Leach. She says her work combines lightness, energy and movement; at first sight, the Oates is quite the opposite: very dense and no depth. But, the surface of the canvas – especially taught because it’s on board – provides some depth, light reflects off it beautifully and the central motif has a dance-like movement.” Tim Sayer

Tim has a preference for non-narrative art, in fact his collection specialises in abstract works. I’m thrilled that the abstract nature of my wind dance print made an impression on him and his mention of ‘dance’ may reflect another interest, his wife Annemarie Norton, being an ex-professional dancer. Perhaps movement also was a particular draw.

The Sayer Collection is significant for another reason. In 2016 Tim bequeathed his entire collection in his will to The Hepworth Wakefield in Yorkshire.

“I was amazed by David Chipperfield’s remarkable building with its sequence of ten beautifully-lit gallery spaces, and I realised that it would be the perfect home for my collection.” Tim Sayer

The generosity of this gift was publicly acknowledged when Tim was appointed an MBE for services to art and philanthropy in 2017. As a Yorkshire lass myself I find it poignant to think that a piece of my work may potentially find its way into a permanent collection so close to where I was born and grew up.

Part of The Sayer Collection showing at The Hepworth in 2016 – photograph Jonty Wilde

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