Sarah Tombs


Sarah Tombs was born in Bishop’s Stortford in 1961. She studied at Wimbledon School of Art (1980-83) where she gained a 1st class degree in Fine Art. MA studies followed at Chelsea School of Art (1983-84) and she received a Henry Moore Bursary to study at the Royal College of Art (1985-87).

While still a student she produced a commissioned work for the National Garden Festival 1986 in Stoke on Trent, working as an artist-in-residence at the steel works. From this experience she decided to concentrate on public art, believing that artwork should be seen in public spaces as well as in galleries. In 1987 she set up her studio in a railway arch in Brixton working on commissions and since then has completed 10 major public commissions.

In 1995 she was appointed Sculpture Fellow at Keele University and she changed direction to focus on exhibiting work rather than producing commissions. This change in direction developed from working on a major sculpture for the Hammersmith Hospital. The research led to a desire to explore ideas further, achieved by working on several sculptures over a period of time to form a body of work. This experience developed into a need to explore new processes and materials and subsequently led to several collaborations and exhibitions with other departments at Keele University.

Sarah uses a range of materials to make sculpture. She has an affinity with steel, a dynamic material worked by using heat and welding to shape it. Exploiting its tensile strength, Sarah is able to make structures that appear to defy gravity and the process of construction allows for spontaneity creating a sense of movement. Sarah also works in stone, bronze, stainless steel and recently has been exploring the optical features of glass and light.

To date Sarah has exhibited in 4 solo and 50 group exhibitions mostly in Britain but also in Europe. In 2005 she had a specially-designed sculpture studio built in a rural setting and is currently working full-time on her sculpture.


In 2008 Sarah received an arts grant  for individuals from the Arts Council of Wales. This generous support  enabled

her to spend a sustained period of time researching and developing new work. This research incorporated visits to the National Botanic Garden of Wales and from this Sarah was able to make work using computer aided design and computer aided manufaturing techniques. Images of some the sculpture are under the solo exhibition section.


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