Henry Sandon MBE portrait unveiled

Henry Sandon final

Henry Sandon MBE by Sara Hayward MA(RCA) , oil on canvas, 60″ x 40″, Museum of Royal Worcester 

“I think it’s fabulous. It makes me look happy which is what I always am. I’m delighted with it,” said Henry, 29th August 2014. 

Visitors to the Museum of Royal Worcester can now see my portrait of Henry Sandon hanging upstairs near the twentieth century gallery. BBC Midlands Today recorded the occasion as the portrait was officially unveiled with plenty of style and ceremony by Cynthia Crawford MBE in the museum last Friday. Painted between March and June this year it is is the first to be completed of two portraits I started of Henry. I am hoping – if Henry is willing – to complete the second portrait of Henry holding a Royal Worcester pot- in the autumn, with a view to showing it elsewhere.

Henry is not only a great character but also an affable raconteur and it was wonderful to hear tales of his growing up in London and his career at Worcester Porcelain. Outside builders and cranes on Severn Street kept us entertained as did visitors to the museum coming into our temporary studio who were clearly very excited to have stumbled across their Antiques Road Show hero. Henry is a national treasure, giving generously of his time to charities and institutions; multi talented, larger than life, a gentleman to the core, he is joyous; I wanted to capture something of his great integrity and also sense of humour. A friend said to me, “Make sure you capture the twinkle in his eye!” and I hope I have. Notice the distinctive teapot tie and his laughter lines. My inspiration for the painting were paintings by Bonnard; inspired by his use of  heightened colour and vibrant mark making. 

My thanks go to to the museum for the commission; I hope it does Henry justice. Henry likes the portrait, his family like it, the museum like it and so far so do the visitors. I hope you like it too. Pop in and see it if you can! It’s a gem of a museum and well worth visiting.

Museum of Royal Worcester, Severn Street, Worcester Open Monday to Saturday, March to October 10am – 5pm November to February 10am – 4pm  


Emeritus Worcestershire Poet Laureate Maggie Doyle & Sara Hayward MA (RCA)


Pilgrim Poetry Workshop in the Crypt at Worcester Cathedral Worcestershire Literary Festival 2014

The Pilgrim workshop at Worcester Cathedral was shared between artist Sara Hayward and Worcestershire Poet Laureate Emeritus Maggie Doyle. In the atmospheric crypt the journey of The Worcester Pilgrim was discussed as poets and writers set about discovering their own pilgrimage. Ms Hayward brought along a piece of her artwork as inspiration.


beatrice nettlefold


tonight is the eve of my exhibition opening; fingers and toes crossed a few people pop by tomorrow to see a year’s painting finally in situ! there’s lots to see; eight portraits, eight semi abstract large scale paintings, three small oils and one short film. Plus a great cafe for a coffee at half time. Yes, I have surprised myself, yes, I have found a new language, and yes, I believe it is worth a train ticket to see. On for ten weeks until april 9th let me know what you think if you’re in the university of birmingham neighbourhood.

Remembrance of Things Passed

A collaboration between Indian filmmaker, Parul Punjabi and British artist, Sara Hayward, the film recreates the life of an Edwardian English family and the several secrets they held- relying heavily on the dreams and memories of the various characters, instead of a linear, narrative description of their lives. Set in the idyllic, quintessentially English Winterbourne House and Gardens and structured loosely as a meditative, mood-poem, the film seeks to capture both the exterior visible reality and the inner subtle reality of its characters.

Building on Proust’s famous quote, ‘Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were’, the filmmakers pay homage to the very idea of memory as they collectively remember the everyday life in the early 20th century. With no dialogue, the natural sounds and dreamlike imagery become crucial in evoking this memory of a bygone era.

Remembrance of Things Passed

Upon the bridge at Winterbourne

Upon the bridge at Winterbourne

On a rare sunny day in mid June 2013 a short film was shot  with Parul Punjabi, a scholarship student in film studies at Birmingham University, at Winterbourne House & Garden, Edgbaston, Birmingham. The film, Remembrance of Things Passed will be shown at Winterbourne from February 2014. Much planning and days of preparation paid off as on the day as we were able to film  4 hours of footage which Parul expertly edited down to  22 minutes.  As Winterbourne is open daily it was difficult fielding visitors so that they were out of shot; I lost count of the number of times I said, “Excuse me, could you possibly…” The film features my daughter Sylvie Powis and Winterbourne gardener Phil Smith. Each were amenable and a joy to work with.

Sunshine & Burgh Island Day 8


water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

February 27th 2013

The sun came out! Hurray! I covered over more or less all I had done on the oil painting last week and softened it with an overlay of the palest creamiest blue I could make and added washes to sketch book studies which examine arts and crafts motif in and around Winterbourne. I created a larger acrylic study of the garden in black and white on a red ground working from a charcoal sketch. Went to lunchtime lecture at Barber Institute on art deco where they mentioned John Nettlefold’s cousin Archie Nettlefold who built Burgh Island Hotel, Bigbury-on-sea, Devon, c. 1929. Began two abstract oils to which I will keep adding. Worked in the garden later in the afternoon, looking, sketching, and thinking. The bird song was noticeably loud and lovely but the chickens had been put to bed by the time I got to them. Primroses, crocae, hellebore are all out and I saw a daffodil and azalea in bud. There are signs of growth everywhere. Drew some of the gardeners working in the garden from the window; they were busy clearing winter debris off the ground.

Sara Hayward120827 coincidences


water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

Well, what a summer. I was really thrilled to be in Worcester Cathedral to see the Queen in July. The cathedral was packed with well wishers including 340 school children representing all the county’s primary schools. I chatted to one young pair sitting in front of me only to find that they were from my very own primary school- St Andrews, Barnt Green- where I had once won the slow bicycle race ( just think if it had been an Olympic sport…….) The familiar green school uniform hadn’t changed in forty years.

We enjoyed two red hot magical weeks in St Ives later where  I enjoyed being tossed around in the surf as I failed  miserably at body boarding on Porthmeor beach (not for want of trying). The Alex Katz exhibition at Tate St Ives won us over because of his great selection of works on display by artists he admired. We particularly liked the  Franz Kline and a large scale dymnamic Howard Hodgkin, and listening to the video of Alex Katz talk about the works. A small intimate selection of letters and paintings by Ben Nicholson, Alfred Wallis and Winifred Nicholson was also inspiring particularly since Ernie Rowe, the 86 year old Cornish owner of the kennels where our dog was staying, regaled us with revealing stories about Alfred, a distant relative of his.
Right now I am having a bit of a clear out. I’ve just come across my Royal College of Art ID from 1986 and that of Paul for an international driving licence from the year I met him – 1982. Needless to say we’ve both changed to look at somewhat but to have been together for 30 years, more than half my life, and married for 24, feels pretty amazing.

I bumped into Simon Packard recently – he has a great exhibition of prints in the Chapter House at Worcester Cathedral at the moment. He barely recognised me from our time at the RCA and I’d have to say ditto ( he’s a whole lot hairier) but it was great to catch up again after 25 years and meet his two young children, Macey and Blythe.

We were down in Portsmouth recently and down an alley (long story) stumbled across the studio, a blacksmith studio, of Peter Clutterbuck who was a third year sculpture student when Paul was in the first year of his fine art degree at Portsmouth. He was amazed to find a blacksmith’s yard right in the centre of Portsmouth and left his calling card so hopefully the two will be in touch again.

Whilst we were having a coffee in the Hot Walls cafe in Old Portsmouth we were photographed by the Portsmouth News photographer Mick Young and appeared in the local paper. The cafe had opened that day and were offering delicious free pastries to all the customers. We chatted at length to Mick because he too had studied fine art (at Manchester) and was interested to hear about Paul’s experiences of his time in Portsmouth.