UNICEF Innocenti to host Wonderful, an important exhibition by British visual artist Sarah Staton

Art exhibition in Florence to coincide with UNICEF Innocenti’s Leading Minds conference on climate on May 29-31, and will run until end of September

15 May 2024
Painting called "Blue Cloud, Lilac Rain' by Sarah Staton
Courtesy of Sarah Staton

FLORENCE, ITALY, 15 May – UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight will in May to September present an important exhibition of works by the British visual artist Sarah Staton, curated by Untitled Cloud.

Titled Wonderful, the exhibition will coincide with UNICEF Innocenti’s Leading Minds conference on climate breakthroughs, to be held in Florence, Italy on May 29-31. The conference is being co-created by young people and will see some of the world’s top thinkers coming together to pose bold questions and identify even bolder answers to one of the most pressing challenges for children.

Wonderful will be a tantalising exploration of shape, colour and pattern repetition – provoking an urgent call for the protection of animals and natural forms. The paintings on display will feature sky and seascapes, fish, birds, trees, and will appear in non-identical duplicates.

Staton is a visual artist working across the formats of drawing, painting, sculpture and public realm commissions. Based in London, she is currently Head of the Sculpture MA Programme at the Royal College of Art.

“The resonance of deep time, the infinities of pattern and rhythm that pulse through the natural world, and the extraordinary reciprocal networked nurture systems that lie beneath the forest floor, are just some of the wonderous phenomena that I seek to tap into with the paintings that I am showing at UNICEF Innocenti,” said Staton.

“It is an honour and a delight to participate in UNICEF Innocent’s collaborative, intergenerational Leading Minds conference on climate, a vital and urgent event that seeks to shape secure futures for all children on our most astonishing and precious planet,” she said.

Said Bo Viktor Nylund, Director of UNICEF Innocenti: “We are thrilled to host the work of such an influential artist here at UNICEF Innocenti. Art has the power to touch both our hearts and our minds, and Sarah's work is the perfect example of that power. Seeing her paintings, we are reminded that the world is as fragile as it is beautiful.”

Holding on to the explicit joy of colour and forms, Staton’s pictures are ‘drawn’ in paint. She builds her images with the gestural drawing of brush across fabric, using colours that may appear acidic, neon, or unequivocally ‘non-painterly’.

The paintings can be viewed in UNICEF Innocenti’s offices in via Degli Alfani in the centre of Florence from the end of May. They will be available to view privately on May 29 from 6pm to 8pm CEST and then will be on public display until September 29.

For more information or to arrange a viewing, please contact: florence@unicef.org

Notes to editors:
UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product or service.

Media: for more information, please contact:
Adam Cathro, UNICEF Innocenti, Florence, Italy, Tel: +39 344 491 4695, acathro@unicef.org

Interested parties: for more information, please contact:
UNICEF Innocenti, Florence, Italy, florence@unicef.org

About Sarah Staton
Sarah Staton is a visual artist and educator based in London. She currently holds the role of Head of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. Sarah works on the issues of our times, using drawing, painting and sculpture to investigate ongoing and current ideas and interests. Over 3 decades, Sarah has devised unique ways to tease out the social potentials, and soft powers of art, she explores this interest through teaching, making exhibitions, publications and fulfilling public commissions.  In 2024, she completes a significant commission for Tideway London, at three sites in West London. Her work has been exhibited at the South London Gallery, Tate, Serpentine Gallery, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Shedhalle Zurich, and in commercial galleries and project spaces in the UK, EU, South Korea and USA.

Sarah is represented in a number of collections including Arts Council UK, British Museum Prints and Drawings, Henry Moore Institute, South London Gallery and Tate as well as in private collections across the world.

About the Royal College of Art
Founded in 1837, the Royal College of Art is the world's leading university of art and design. Specialising in teaching and research, the RCA offers degrees of MA, MPhil, MFA, MDes, MArch, MEd, MRes, Graduate Diploma and PhD across the disciplines of architecture, arts & humanities, design and communication.

A small, specialist and research-intensive postgraduate university based in the heart of London, the RCA provides around 2,800 students with unrivalled opportunities to deliver art and design projects that transform the world.

The RCA's approach is founded on the premise that art, design, creative thinking, science, engineering and technology must all collaborate to solve today's global challenges.

The RCA is home to more than 850 of the world’s leading academic and professional staff who teach and develop students in 34 academic programmes. RCA students are exposed to new knowledge in a way that encourages them to experiment.

The RCA runs joint courses with Imperial College London and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

InnovationRCA, the university's centre for enterprise, entrepreneurship, incubation and business support, has helped over 81 RCA business ideas become a reality that has led to the creation of over 800 UK jobs.

Alumni include such major figures as Dame Barbara Hepworth, Bridget Riley, Henry Moore OM, David Hockney OM, Sir Peter Blake, Sir Ridley Scott, Dame Zandra Rhodes, Sir Frank Bowling, Sir James Dyson OM, Chris Ofili CBE, Sir Anthony Finkelstein, Francesca Amfitheatrof, and Erdem Moralıoğlu MBE.

The RCA was named the world's leading university of art and design in the QS World Rankings 2024 for the tenth consecutive year (QS World Subject Rankings 2015-2024).

Media contacts

Adam Cathro
Communications Specialist
UNICEF Innocenti - Global Office for Research and Foresight
Tel: +39 344 491 4695

About UNICEF Innocenti

UNICEF Innocenti is UNICEF’s dedicated research centre. It undertakes research on emerging or current issues in order to inform the strategic directions, policies and programmes of UNICEF and its partners, shape global debates on child rights and development, and inform the global research and policy agenda for all children, and particularly for the most vulnerable. 

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About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

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