With next month’s up and coming ‘What’s Poppin’ exhibition at our Shenfield Gallery, we only thought it be appropriate to properly introduce and shed an artist spotlight on the lady behind the trendy pop art lips, Sara Pope.
Sara’s artwork consists of collections of vibrant, pouty lips that resemble femininity, power, glamour and beauty. The former fashionista and Maths student fills us in about how she got into a vocation surrounding art and her journey, answering questions that we have all been longing to ask. She gives us an insight into what inspires her and the creative process that goes into producing these stunning pieces of artwork.
Interview with Sara Pope
TBG: Can you tell us about the theme/inspiration/idea behind your work/collection?
Sara: My subject/theme of choice is the lips and mouth. It’s a subject which I find fascinating as it is central to so many aspects of the human experience – communication and expression, character/personality, sensuality and beauty.
It’s a subject which I find fascinating as it is central to so many aspects of the human experience – communication and expression, character/personality, sensuality and beauty.
TBG: What influences your work? E.g. Artists/Movements/certain works/historic time
Sara: Pop Art certainly influences my work in that its very immediately relatable and has an almost consumable aesthetic. I also draw inspiration from my years of experience working in fashion and magazines.
TBG: What is your favourite type/genre of art and why?
Sara: Aesthetically, I love the bright, shiny perfection, and saturated colours of pop art, à la Jeff Koons. But I also love good old fashioned oil painting, the texture of it, the brush strokes. I’m especially drawn to the face and human figure and the expression of emotion within. Francis Bacon’s work for example, hits you with something immediate, visceral.
TBG: What does art mean to you and did it influence you to make art a professional vocation?
Sara: Art to me means freedom. In creating art you have a voice. To create something real that began just in your imagination is incredibly liberating. When I first started painting I didn’t know it would become a vocation, I just knew I had to do it.
TBG: How has your work grown since you started out as an artist?
Sara: My painting style has evolved a lot. The more I painted, the more I became interested in the perfection of the finished image. So my painting technique has evolved to achieve this.
Also when I first started painting, I didn’t really know why I painted what I painted. But as I practised and gradually became aware of my motivations and inspirations, I began to amplify certain things.
TBG: What do you feel makes your style of work unique?
Sara: Painting the mouth and lips is certainly not unique, but I feel my work has an expression and aesthetic that that is very definitely unique to me. Perhaps due to my experience in the fashion and media industries as well as my studies in mathematics.
TBG: What type of art do you dislike and why?
Sara: There isn’t any work that I actively dislike. Definitely though there’s work that I don’t understand, or just doesn’t move me, abstract art for example.
TBG: What can we expect to see in the future?
Sara: I’m working on an exciting project at the moment with Tiger Heart Creative Technology. We’re going to transform my lips paintings into a three dimensional, interactive AI experience.
TBG: What quote/word sums up your art work?
TBG: Tell us about your creative process; how do your works come into creation? Where do you begin? Do you envisage the final outcome from the start or is the process more of a journey?
Sara: All my paintings begin with a photographic shoot, a model and some make up. Firstly I’ll choose some lip colours that I’m interested in working with then start by painting the models lips. As I then take photographs, I suggest to the model different expressions, mouth shapes, and ways of moving the mouth, which I capture photographically. I use these images as inspiration to begin the painting. The painting process involves several thin layers of oil diluted paint, being overlaid to arrive at a polished, almost perfect image, emulating the stylistic slickness of advertising.
Receiving Sara’s answers we were able to get a vision of the hard work and passion that goes into her work. Her journey into the art world is such a fascinating one as Sara has informed us of her Mathematics studies, then her work within both the media and fashion industries. A real mix between the academics and creativity. The artist also reveals how she believes the lips are not unique, however, Sara certainly got the trend going, which in our eyes makes her inspirational and definitely unique.
We look forward to having Sara’s collection at our Shenfield Gallery very soon for the ‘What’s Poppin’ exhibition. We hope that many people will be attracted to its beauty and power as much as we are.
Thank you for reading, if you wish to browse or shop Sara’s pieces then click here.