paintings, places, process

Posts tagged “Drawing

Urban Forest


In this city, only about 20 minutes’ drive from downtown, you can walk along a bush track and feel thousands of miles away from the crush of central Sydney.


Turn a corner, though, and you’ll find yourself facing a familiar line of skyscrapers across the harbour.


I recently came across the term “urban forest”, used to describe¬†all the trees in a city, with no distinction between bushland, street trees or those on private property.


It’s a prompt for me to think of the bush not as something separate from the built environment, but as a network extending through it, as vital as any human-made infrastructure.


Images: self-portrait and landscape drawings from art journal, c. 2016








This City I’m In

After dance classes I would walk back through the city keeping an eye out for reflective surfaces in which I could record myself as part of the urban environment.Mirror_selfie_Wynyard

In the absence of a mirror, an ordinary selfie would do.Sakkas_MartinPlaceSP_2

This small performative exercise developed into more involved photo sessions in chosen locations, which in turn became material for sketches and paintings.Sakkas_NthSyd

It’s an ongoing (maybe life-long!) project, partly inspired by the whole-body self-portraits of US painter Joan Semmel, where the focus begins to shift away from the face to the expression of the body in response to place.Walkway_sketch_Sakkas

Images, top to bottom: Mirror Selfie, Wynyard (acrylic on watercolour paper); Martin Place (acrylic on watercolour paper); back arch with cranes, North Sydney (pen drawing in sketchbook); pen and watercolour sketch in art journal

The Lady and the Unicorn

Pocket notebook drawings from the rare display of this marvellous and mysterious medieval (c. 1500) suite of tapestries at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, on loan from the Museé de Cluny. I have never encountered such a soulful unicorn!



Glass wall reflection, Art Gallery of New South Wales