With her figures Sally creates personalities that share a sense of warmth and calm. Drawing from early memories of family gatherings spilling across summer lawns; the quiet intimacy of a confidence shared between sisters; expressions of visual anecdotes carefully collected and stored to later emerge as a figure. The everyday moments of human interaction being elevated from the ordinary into something special. Drawing from figurative artists such as Balthus, Cranach and the American artist Deborah Donelson she continually explores the female form. A current fascination is with medieval Netherlandic wood carvings, bringing her serene females with open, wide faces and worn coloured patinas.
All Sally’s figures are handbuilt using slabs of thin clay and coils. Modelling spontaneously from the inside, squeezing and pinching the clay together, before pushing out. Oxides are used to accentuate the joins. Coloured slips and engobes are built up in multiple layers to create surfaces with depth and experience.
After graduating in 1994 with a degree in ceramics, Sally joined her husband Neil MacDonell establishing a studio in Bath. Here they have worked independently, sharing the space for the past 30 years.
Sally has exhibited in America and widely across Europe and the UK.