Sarah Harvey is an artist who graduated in 2004 from Newcastle University and has been working in East London ever since. She currently is however having a studio built for her, so she is currently without a studio and looking forward to moving into the new one in a couple of months. It also is in East London. Since Graduating, She has exhibited in America, Canada, Greece and Korea with Solo exhibitions in Singapore, Australia, Ireland and the UK. It was a great pleasure for us to take an interview with Sarah Harvey and we wish you a pleasant reading and viewing of Sarah Harvey paintings.
AP: Sarah, it’s a great honor for us to see you here. Thank you for finding the time to give us an interview. We hope you will enjoy answering our questions. Tell me please what got you started?
Sarah: I have been sketching and paintings for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a very musical family so was always surrounded by the arts but it was when I was 18 that I decided to follow the visual art route full time.
AP: What a great start! Do you have any formal education in painting or photography or were you self-taught?
Sarah: I am a self-taught photographer. The photography is just as important as the final painting so I have to work really hard to make sure my camera is well set up and the conditions are right in order to get the right material to work from for my paintings.
AP: Oh, I see, you are also talented in photography as well in paintings. That’s incredible! How would you describe your works?
Sarah: My paintings, predominantly of girls under water, and mostly self-portraits, aim to arouse not just a sense of wellbeing and pleasure, but suggesting notions of insecurity, fantasy and sexuality. Many of my paintings examine the figures abstracted, mutated, refracted and reflected within these lush liquid environments that I surround them by, which lend themselves to a paradox of feelings when being viewed. The paintings are without a horizon line, so as not to have a reference of anything solid to draw perspectives upon – allowing the viewer to feel like they are under the water with the girl or acting as a voyeur from above. With each painting narrative based, together they add to an autobiography that is gradually being written in paint.
AP: That’s true, I have exactly the same feelings as you just described. Unbelievable! How did you come up with idea about underwater photography?
Sarah: In 2003 I won a scholarship to study in Florence and the surrounding areas which is where I got my first photographic images of the girls in green pools. I travelled up to Luca near the marble mountains which is where I found this amazing green pool.
AP: Which artists do you use for reference?
Sarah: My influences coming from artists such as Francis Bacon with his Carcus and Crucifixion paintings, Egon Schieles drawings, and also Jenny Saville, my paintings are steadily exploring many more issues that I as an artist am dealing with.
AP: What kind of equipment and techniques do you use to create your paintings?
Sarah: I work from photographs and use various Canon cameras including the Canon EOS 550D and the Canon IXUS range. There are many stages, but it essentially starts with choosing a location, a clear day when the sun is strong and water that has great clarity and a colour that can accentuate the bodies’ contours to give the subject a sense of depth, colour and movement.
AP: Sarah, do you have any formula for success in your activity?
Sarah: I try very hard to stay positive between shows. A lot of emotion goes into creating an exhibition which takes months and months, so when you finally let go of all of those paintings, it’s pretty hard staring at white walls again. I try to keep a few back so I have things to look at when starting fresh work. Colour on the walls is essential! When I’m not painting, I’m busy promoting and communicating with Galleries and Clients, or getting inspiriting from everyday life.
AP: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I am sure your readers will find them useful. Is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
Sarah: I am lucky that everyone has supported me with what I do. I come from a very musical background so the arts have always been appreciated in my family.
AP: Could you give any piece of advice for those who try to discover their talent and cultivate it?
Sarah: I guess the best piece of advice I could give would be to just keep going, and try and find your own style. Work out what you enjoy photographing or painting, and keep experimenting until you come up with your own unique ideas.
Sarah, thank you very much for giving us an interview and sharing such amazing story about your paintings. We wish you an incredible ideas, continued inspiration and brilliant success. To learn more about Sarah Harvey paintings feel free to visit her website.