Sally Roberts portrays women from the perspective of a female artist. She incorporate aspects of the established artistic canon into her portraits through poses and subject matter.
Sally makes use of modern props and costuming juxtaposed with hazy, dream-like backgrounds. The figures are situated in space that is in flux; it is not a solid world. Clues are weaved within the painting for the audience to decipher. The artistic tradition comes into tension with her own womanhood and female, uncompromising gaze.
Her interest lies in the domestic space and the politics that surround it. For example the negative fundamental link between domesticity and gender roles. The domestic setting can be a haven from the outside world, or a more sinister place, hidden from help. Ms Roberts considers domestic conflict and disharmony in her paintings The paintings are theatre, experimenting with the degree of narrative presented, both twisting existing stories or creating new ones.
Working from photographs creates a certain distance between the artist and the subject matter, which the artists explains, helps her to work at her best. It gives a sense of privacy and from that privacy comes freedom. This distance doesn’t make the paintings any less unflinching.
“ I feel an urgency when I paint, a desire to capture the moment before it disappears. I want them to say directly: this is us, this is the moment. This is how we are now.” - Sally Roberts