As I recall (and I may be wrong, since I deleted the message some time ago),
Richard didn't slag off Sarah--rather, he criticised her work. While one
might reasonably take one work as indicative of an entire ouevre, one
might also take one work (which doesn't quite come off) as a blooper. (We
all make those from time to time.) However, Richard did not offer any
opinion or supposition about Sarah's works in general.
Was it a problem with the work or with Richard's perception? Sarah might
care to comment, as might others who saw the work. Those of us who didn;t
see it can't know, which is why I find Nik's request for specific criticism
a bit odd. Even if Richard was specific, Nik would (I think) have difficulty
understanding because she didn't see the work. Since I too did not see the
work, I find a "vague" (or general) review more useful. An idea of what it
is about is useful to me; details are not.
In any case, I don't see how this exchange could turn into a flamewar. Sarah
might be disappointed, but I'd be surprised if she felt personally slighted.
With discussions like these, we still might learn something.