V&A Museum Print and Drawing Collection: New Acquisition
Sarah Gillespie: MOTH
We are very grateful to the support of the curators at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London in acquiring this wonderful series of Sarah Gillespie ‘MOTH’ mezzotints into the Print & Drawing Collection. The 23 prints are an important representation of the contemporary mezzotint process, a cohesive holding of this important project by artist Sarah Gillespie undertaken between 2017 and 2021.
In addition to this, the Pallant House Gallery have acquired ‘Common Quaker Moth’, 2020 into their collection.
In Sarah’s words,“The days are slowly getting longer but in the dark months just past, something rather amazing happened; the MOTH mezzotints found their way into two of the country’s most respected and best-loved museums.
To have these mezzotints safe in the care of these most prestigious public collections was something I never imagined when researching and making images of our declining moth population in a little-known and almost obsolete printmaking technique. I am enormously grateful to curators Katherine Martin and Gill Saunders of the V&A, to the Golder-Thompson gift and to Meryl Ainslie at Rabley Gallery for making it happen.”
Sarah Gillespie was born in Winchester in 1963. She studied 16th & 17th century methods and materials at the Atelier Neo-Medici in Paris and then read Fine Art at Pembroke College, Oxford (BFA Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art). On leaving she was awarded the Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation International Award for figurative art. Her work encourages us to refocus our gaze toward the everyday and the overlooked; moths, blackbirds and winter-suns.
Sarah Gillespie – Privet Hawk Moth, Mezzotint, 2019
V&A Curator, Katherine Martin with Sarah Gillespie’s MOTH series.
Sarah Gillespie – Swallow-Tailed Moth, Mezzotint, 2019
The newly acquired artworks in the V&A Print and Drawing Room.
About the MOTH Series
Meticulously detailed studies of moths, highlight the diverse and mysterious beauty of these night creatures. From her mezzotint prints the shimmering moths emerge humming from the darkness. The velvet black of the inked paper releases their luminous spirits.
It is the moonlight refracting in the dusty scales of the moth’s wings that reveals iridescent and intricate patterns. The making of the mezzotints is synonymous with the surface of the moths. Through this slow and painstaking method, Gillespie draws each moth from the toothed surface of the printing plate by burnishing the light, trapping the detailed pattern, tones and shape into the surface. There are no hard outlines as gradual tones edge to the darkness surrounding them.
This acquisition of 23 mezzotints by Sarah Gillespie to the V&A collection is important for many reasons: For the artist, the gift determines a representation of work, method and subject that solidifies legacy. For the museum, the ‘MOTH’ series enhances its collection of contemporary printmaking. For the public, these prints become accessible to all and a resource for research.
Read on to find out how to visit the V&A Museum Print and Drawing Collection, as-well as more of Sarah’s work.
Curators Katherine Martin, Sarah Beattie unveil Sarah Gillespie’s MOTH series in the Victoria & Albert Print and Drawing Room.
How to Visit and View the Collection
The National Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum is open to the public, this means that you are welcome to request to see any item in the collection. Here are the times:
Wednesday – By appointment, open for general public viewings
Thursday – By appointment, open for education viewings.
Open Collections: Paintings, Designs, Photographs & Prints
Fill out this form to request a viewing of work in the collection:
Explore the collection section of the V&A website:
Here is a lovely Katherine Jones print also featured in the collection:
Find out more on how to view the Pallant House Gallery Permanent Collection below:
Capsule Exhibition News
Rabley Gallery (East Room)
Please contact the gallery to arrange a visit. Or view works in our Online Shop below.
Tel: +44 (0)1672 511999
We are excited to take Sarah’s new publications to the upcoming London Art Fair, April 20 – 24, 2022. See our feature here for more information: https://rableygallery.com/news/london-art-fair-2022/?v=79cba1185463
Rabley Gallery News: