Sandra Smith was born in Auckland, New Zealand. She studied at Wimbledon School of Art and the Royal College of Art. Her work is influenced by a continuous uprooting and travel in childhood, of a feeling of being part of a European diaspora engaged in a search for identity and belonging, and resulting in a desire to understand and ‘re-build’ her world through that lens. She attempts to ‘re-make’ the places and spaces she exists in, or passes through, in painting. She sees her work as a flat objects embodying the ‘re-enactment’ of the building of a ‘place’ using elements of the hand drawn akin to historical design and engineering (measurement, mapping, diagram, geometry) combined with empathetic sense-based painterly processes to imitate surfaces and light. Subjects include domestic, institutional, industrial and landscape environments- kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, schools, roads, roundabouts, skies, constellations, shipping lanes and sometimes famous tourist sites.
Sandra has worked as a peripatetic in art education for 30 years, with a commitment to working across a wide age, social and cultural range of students including teaching at Anglia Ruskin University Fine Art BA, UWE Drawing and Print BA, Bryanston School, Cheltenham School, Eton College, West Herts College, and several primary schools. Publications include Paper-folded Geometry for Exhibiting Space Conspectus and Kairos Educational charity. Sandra is a senior teaching fellow at UCL and has coordinated the Slade Summer School and Short Courses since 2004. She has exhibited mainly with artists initiatives until recently. Digswell Arts Trust has offered her an opportunity to develop a new body of work, and she is looking forward to exhibiting in the open studios in the Spring and celebrating the centenary of Welwyn Garden City. Group shows this year include the Staff Exhibition at the Slade Summer School in July 2019; ‘SEER’ a show of European painting and drawing at Gallery Punto in Tokyo in October 2019, curated by John France; a group show at Centre Space Gallery Bristol in January 2019 curated by Jan-Phillip Fruehsorge. She has work in the Government Art Collection.