Interview Series with Sarah Darling
by Christine Kourim·
We're big fans of Artist Sarah Darling, a Byron Bay native whose approach to painting gets you lost in a sensorial world that feels alive with colour.
We spoke to Sarah about her inspiration, her connection to colour and what 2021 looks like. We are so excited to share this series with you.
Tell us a little bit about your journey in becoming an artist? What led you to where you are now
I think I have always been creative. My mum is an artist so I grew up drawing and playing with paints and clay. We would go to openings and galleries and when she began teaching art classes I would get to sit in. When I left school I did a degree in Interior and Spatial Design. I had a quick stint in the field and it wasn’t for me, which led me to move to Barcelona for a couple of years. I was incredibly inspired by the European art world and I saw sooooo much great art. My partner convinced me to move home to Byron with him and I started studying fine art at Lismore. I wanted a bit of time close to my friends and family so I transferred to COFA in Sydney where I completed my studies majoring in Sculpture and Painting, while working part time with a friend as a prop and set stylist. After studying I went on tour with my partners band, had a baby and set up a painting studio in our cottage that we now live in, in Clunes.
How would you describe your work?
I paint fairly large, colourful, abstract works in oil paint.
What you are working on now
Right now I'm working on an exhibition with my friend Jack who is a furniture designer and fabricator. It opens in April at yeah nice gallery and is titled ‘this is the colour of my dreams’.
Tell me more about what is inspiring you at the moment
Oh gosh my inspiration is so varied. I like to look at the world and see the perfect abstractions already there, particularly when something is taken out of scale or is misplaced or fragmented. Or, I like to take note of something like a landscape and then allow my memory to create the abstraction for me, I can never remember it correctly, usually just the colours or the essence is what comes back. Right now I have a few images floating in my head, metallic bugs, computer screen glitches, cloud formations, what the sea looks like when you open your eyes under water.
Your paintings derive so much energy from your colour palettes .Can you tell us more about how colour plays in your process?
I have always found colour extremely seductive and I have loved learning about colour in art and design history. I mix my own colours from a warm and cool set of the primary colours most of the time, every now and then if i’m feeling fancy I will buy a tube of something beautiful (this is an expensive way to paint haha I always love the most expensive ones!). I think colours create an endless conversation depending on how they are used, who they are sitting next to, what they are layered on top of, its endless fun and sometimes frustration! I also like to pull colours out of things that I see and other paintings or periods that I love.
Do you have any daily rituals?
Yoga is a big one for me! I also recently did a workshop with a friend of mine about using writing as a ritual. Im hoping to try to create a daily ritual of twenty minutes of free flow writing.
What albums or artists are currently rotation at home?
I like mainly old music like Joni Mitchell and Carol King and also Nick Cave & the bad seeds!
What’s the best thing you’ve read recently?
I’ve been reading a lot lately. I read a year of magical thinking by Joan Didion and I found it heart breaking and beautiful. It really made me appreciate everything I have.
What makes you feel most alive?
A swim in the ocean in crazy weather!
What are you looking forward to most this year?
Im really looking forward to the exhibition in April, seeing all of the works hanging amongst Jack’s very cool designs! Im also just excited to be at home, travelling less, watching our baby grow. We want to do a trip to the Daintree when things cool down, definitely looking forward to that!