This month’s Featured Artist Is Sara Pope
Each and every month we will be asking artists the questions you were too scared to ask and find out what makes them tick…
Sara Pope has been producing her innovative designs from a background in design and fashion. Her work has been displayed across the globe and one piece is permanently displayed in the Vatican.
Good morning Sara:
You were born in Stoke-on-Trent and spent time living in Spain. Where is home?
I’ve lived in several places but Brighton is my new home. I moved here a year ago and I love it. I also spend a lot of time in Paris and in Italy.
Your lips images are so iconic. What’s your inspiration for them?
All my work is ultimately about communication. My first paintings were portraits, as I was interested in exploring the emotion that it was possible to convey. Lips are a distillation of that, the mouth is integral to our ability to communicate and express feelings. Coming from a fashion back ground, when looking for inspiration I look at fashion and advertising, which I think is reflected in the lips, the seductive, glossy way that I like to paint them, and the quite sexy, flirtatious quality they have.
What has been the reaction to the visit to the Vatican and the acceptance of your work by the Pope?
It’s been incredible, the story appeared in the Sunday Express on Easter Sunday, and then the phone didn’t stop ringing. I was interviewed live on Sky News, BBC News, BBC Radio and several regional newspapers.
On a more personal level, acquaintances and friends, particularly those who are Catholic have expressed to me how much they love the portrait, and what a wonderful achievement it is.
What’s the best and worst parts of being an artist?
It’s all pretty great to be honest, to be able to do every day something that you love, and that takes you to places and to meet people that otherwise you never would, such as the Vatican private quarters! It can be very frustrating when work is not working out but when it goes right it’s a fab feeling.
Which artist do you admire the most and have you met them?
Francis Bacon, I love the immediate, visceral quality of his work. Also he was such a charismatic, articulate man, it would be amazing to go back in time and meet him. I think a night out with him would be one you wouldn’t forget in a hurry!
What would be your advice to any budding artist?
Think big, the sky’s the limit.
What are your plans for 2015/2016 regarding new work, collaborations and exhibitions?
Well, I’ve got a very exciting 2015 planned. I’m doing a collaboration with bareMinerals make up brand at the moment. We already did a really successful event in March, resulting in my work featuring in Sunday Times Style magazine, and we’ll be doing another event in June for the launch of their lip oil balm range ‘Pop of Passion’.
I’m going to be part of the Brighton Fringe Festival on 31st May, exhibiting with artrepublic Gallery.
I have a solo show at Boxpark in East London at the end of June to launch the print of my Pope portrait (it will be a POP-e UP show!)
And for 2016 I’m in talks to do some very exciting collaborations, but I can’t say too much yet!
If you weren’t an artist what would be your dream job?
It would be as a shoe designer, which I’m lucky enough to have already achieved and continue to do, consulting for a Danish brand.
Your favourite holiday destination? Hot or Cold?
Hot definitely, nothing says holiday to me like a sparkling blue sea, and enough heat to make me want to jump right in.
Lastly…Are you a full English or Continental breakfast kinda girl?
I’m all a bit healthy for breakfast, fresh juices and granola style, but you can’t beat rashers and maple syrup every now and then.
For more of Sara Pope’s work, please visit her Gallery Page.