Dolores de Sade

film still from drypoint demonstration included in 'Exhibition on Screen: Rembrandt (2014)

Artist’s Statement

My work looks at liminal spaces and otherwise unnoticed places.
Motorway verges, public footpaths, windowsills and front gardens are all coerced into landscapes. These images speak of a romantic urge to control and contain, all the while describing the wilderness of the other, escape and the search for the horizon.
I am interested in what landscape means to us today, exploring our experience of such and what it means to us in the digital age. Influenced by eighteenth and nineteenth century book and periodical illustration, I am interested in ways that information is given the authority of knowledge and how knowledge is transposed through memory, nostalgia and archetype.
I see parallels between the challenges brought about by the sudden plethora of images and information that new printing techniques and the early beginnings of mass media in the eighteenth and nineteenth century brought about, and those of GoogleMaps and our own digital age.

My work spans a range of media, including etching and engraving, painting, writing, sculpture, installation, sound, performance and film. It is held in private and public collections including V&A, Government Art Collection, British Library, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal College of Art, Ashmolean Museum, Sir John Cass School of Art, Ministry of Culture, Thailand and Guanglan and Guangdong Museums, China.


MA Printmaking: Royal College of Art, 2011
BA (Hons.) Fine Art: The Sir John Cass School of Art (LMU), 2009
Mphil History: University of York, 2006.
BA (Hons.) History: Birkbeck College, (ULU), 2000

Grants and Awards

John Ruskin Drawing Prize, UK 2014
Intaglio Printmakers Award, ELP London, 2013
Birgit Skiöld Memorial Trust Award, London 2012
Royal Etcher Award, Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, London 2011
British Institution Award, Royal Academy, London 2011
J K Burt Award, Originals, London 2010
Ede and Ravenscroft Award, London 2010
Guangdong Museum Purchase prize, Qijiang, 2010
St Cuthbert’s Mill Award, Printmakers Council, London, 2008
American History Bursary, University of York, 2000

Installation shot, And So On... Whitstable, 2012

Solo Shows

Strange Lands, 5th Base Gallery, London, August 2017
The Age of Wire and String, Pink House, Tokyo, December 2016
Patio Project, WW Gallery, London, October 2012
And So On… Whitstable, September 2012
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and Other Stories, Whitstable, August 2011

Selected Group Shows and Performances

Clifford Chance, London, April 2016
Spodki Gallery, Poland, July 2016
Impact 9, Printmaking: China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China; October 2015
Awagami International Miniature Print Exhibition, (Award Winner) Japan, November 2015
Platform Projects, Lubrimov-Easton, Art Athena, Athens, June 2015
Goto Gallery, Ginza, Tokyo January 2015
Black and White, Artspace, London December 2014
Artists and the Uncanny, Printroom, London, June 2014
London Original Print Fair, April 2013
Galleria Ostrakon, Milan, Italy, December 2012
North House Gallery, Manningtree Essex, December 2012
BITE (invited artist), Mall Galleries, London, September 2012
London 1.0, Galerie Reitz, Cologne, September 2012
Training Nature. The Print Room, London July 2012
Kaleid Artist’s Book Fair, Art Academy, London, July 2012
Royal Society of Painter Printmakers Annual Exhibition, London, June 2012
Royal Academy Summer Show (invited artist), June 2012
London Original Print Fair, Royal Academy, April 2012
Double Take - The Art of Printmaking, Canterbury, January 2012
Bangkok Triennale Print and Drawing Show, January 2012
Hot Off the Press, Curwen Gallery, January 2012
Clifford Chance Postgraduate Printmaking Survey Exhibition, December 2011
Qijiang International Print Festival, China, November 2011
BITE, Mall Galleries, London, August 2011
Sawchestra perform Prince Achmed at Folly for a Flyover, London, July 2011
SHOW, Royal College of Art, London, July 2011
East London Printmakers, Space, London, July 2011
Spritz, Tintype Gallery at Simon and Muirhead, London, June 2011
Mailto, Drift Station Gallery, Nebraska, June 2011
Royal Academy Summer Show, May 2011
CMYOK! Café Gallery, Southwark, March 2011
The Readers Late at Barbican, London, August 2010
Originals, Mall galleries, London, February 2010
Qijang International Print Festival, China, October 2009
IMPACT, Spike Island, Bristol, September 2009
Salon 09, Matt Roberts Arts, Vyner Street, September 2009
Printmakers Council Miniature Print Exhibition: Touring UK. May 2009
The Readers and The Apathy Band. GSK, Royal Academy, London. December 2008
Kunst Tut Gutes: Autohaus Glinicke, Minden, Germany. October 2008
Mailshot. Whitstable Biennale: Whitstable, June 2008

The Age of Wire and String, Pink House, Tokyo, 2016

Professional Organizations

Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (A.R.E) (2012-present)
Prism Print International (member 2013-present)
Open Workshop London (member 2015-present)
East London Printmakers (Chair 2011-2016, Member 2008-present)
The Sawchestra (2010-present)
The Readers (2008-2011)


Chiang Mai Art on Paper January-February 2017
Kawara Printmaking Laboratory February-December 2016
Joshua Tree National Park Residency October-November 2015
Kent Cultural Baton Hoo Peninsula Residency April 2012

Kawara Printmaking Laboratory. Lithography work in Progess


Printmaking tutor and Editioning etcher, East London Printmakers 2011-present
Printmaking tutor/lecturer, London Metropolitan University 2012-2013


'These rather exquisite prints and etchings are something you really can’t convey, you do really really need to be there yourself, to be up close and personal.' The Organ, August 2017

'The find of The Other Art Fair’ Financial Times, October 18th 2013

‘Brit Arts new wave: the successors to Hirst and Emin’ The Independent, July 22nd, 2011

"Primarily focused on landscape, Dolores de Sade’s works are concerned with memory, nostalgia, myth and narrative. In the context of modern industrialisation she questions what landscape means to us today and how it is distilled through popular media.
Romantic landscapes are deconstructed by the artist as authoritative models of beauty and sublimity – as aesthetic paragons and cultural archetypes born out of nostalgia and reverie. These timeless pastoral visions, which have haunted our imaginations since the 18th century, are for de Sade problematic exemplars: idylls untouched and unspoilt by the emergence of modern industry, stand contradicted by change and technology.
Her work acknowledges that while the pastoral ideal served a transcendental purpose during the Industrial Revolution, it was in fact propagated by the very technology that revolution spawned: the advent of steel engraving in the 1820s, for book and periodical illustration popularised Romantic landscapes to the emergent ‘mass reading public’. Technology, then, may be a catalyst for a fantastical retreat – it may trigger a perverse introspection that shuts out the modern world, rejecting the mediations of popular culture. At the same time, however, it may be a handmaiden, a technical facilitator, of artistic production. Multiplied and circulated, yet a product of the imagination, the printed image is the perfect example of this paradox, and which de Sade eloquently embraces to explore the disparity of our fantasised visions and material experiences.
With the intricacy and application of her engraver forebears, in fastidious etched lines she deftly emulates the tradition of crisp topographical details and classical tropes. Vistas are framed by trees, leading the eye into bucolic worlds; bridges and stairs transport the mind to uncharted places. Yet, these are uncanny visions of low life elevated as high art. Dolores de Sade’s beautiful, Arcadian views are not set in the classical past; they represent prosaic modern subjects: motorway and A-road verges.
Exalted as sites of dreamy delectation, these typically unromantic subjects question what we know and understand about today’s blemished environments. In an age of proliferating web imagery, online aggregators and virtual mapping, such places are on the one hand highly visible – meticulously quantified and exhaustively navigated. But, on the other, they are peripheral. The mediation of the World Wide Web and satellite navigation systems classifies such environments as utilitarian constructs; we see them through a monocular lens of expedient travel. Our reliance on modern technology thus diverts our attention away from other perspectives. But such places might be re-viewed and reclaimed, as near-forgotten natural realms that once again feed the imagination, as the focus of different kinds of knowledge. The authority of route-planning is duly challenged by de Sade as she re-evaluates and sees these discarded worlds on foot, at grass-roots level. The Grand Tour of yesteryear persists with undimmed optimism in her post-industrial prospects."
Julia Beaumont-Jones, 2014.