Sally Moore: Acting Up



Sally Moore: Acting Up

Peter Wakelin


260 x 210mm / 96pp
ISBN 978-1-911408-47-5

  • The first full study of this leading figurative artist
  • Authoritatively researched and written


Sally Moore paints worlds where fiction is truer than fact, where outer absurdity stands in for inner reality. Like an actor, she uses her observations of people and situations to explore ideas with herself as the performer. Through surreal metaphors – tigers in the sitting room, monkeys on her dining table, small boats taking her to sea – she battles moods, fears and social expectations. She continues a figurative tradition that extends from Caravaggio to Balthus, though her active, clothed women rebut traditional depictions.

Sally Moore’s childhood in South Wales was creative, her mother a dancer and her father a painter, the house filled with artist friends, though it was shattered by her father’s death when she was just thirteen. After Oxford University and Birmingham College of Art she developed her painting with awards from the Delfina Studios and the British School in Rome, becoming one of the distinctive figure painters of her generation. This book is an opportunity to see her work across four decades. As the novelist William Boyd has pointed out, to view her paintings together is to reveal a lifelong project to explore mood, memory and states of mind.


About the author

Peter Wakelin is a writer and curator. He was formerly head of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and director of collections at the National Museum of Wales. He has contributed to Art Review, The Burlington Magazine, The Guardian and Modern Painters. His exhibitions have included Romanticism in the Welsh Landscape at MOMA Machynlleth, Four Painters in Raymond Williams’ Border Country at the National Eisteddfod of Wales and the 80th anniversary retrospective of the Contemporary Art Society for Wales. He lives near Aberystwyth.