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Mother & Artist | Meet Sarah Darling

Mother & Artist | Meet Sarah Darling

We recently spoke with artist, mother & WARES Aurora model Sarah Darling about women in the arts, her current daily inspiration, and painting practice. Sarah is part of our WARES series that profiles women within the Olli Ella community that captivate us with their day to day. Based in Byron Bay Australia, her beautiful works are a dance of colour and composition, a true exploration of abstraction! We are honoured to share her paintings and words with you!!



“Ever since I was a little girl I have loved to paint, and I loved clay, probably because I was copying what my mum was doing in her studio” 

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Tell us a little bit about your journey in becoming an artist? What led you to where you are now?

I was always interested in making things ever since I was a little girl. I loved to paint, and I loved clay, probably because I was copying what my mum was doing in her studio. After school, I studied interior and spatial design at the university of technology Sydney. I never really made it to the workforce as the desire to travel took over, and I spent some years living in Europe, where I saw lots and lots of great art and architecture. When I came home, I finally made it to art school, and I studied sculpture and painting at the college of fine art in Sydney.

What memory signifies your first art experience?

I remember watching my mum painting on silk; she would hang these long sheets of silk to dry, and then our cat would lay in them like they were a hammock! I think this is my earliest memory relating to art.

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How would you describe your work?

I often describe my work as large-scale abstract paintings with an emphasis on colour. This is pretty much a visual description, and my practice goes much further than this and is constantly changing! There are lots of themes that arise again and again when I am painting. Some of these are the body and gesture, intuition, chance, and of course, the materiality itself.

Which element of creating do you thrive off the most?

I actually find painting difficult a lot of the time, and my final paintings often have lots and lots of layers of disastrous paintings below the surface. Because of this, I think when I reach a sense of resolve in a painting it's definitely a good day!

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Tell me more about what is inspiring you at the moment?

Right now, I cannot get over the Jacaranda trees that are in bloom. The colour is almost too much!

Your paintings derive so much energy from your colour palettes. Can you tell us more about how colour plays a role in your process?

I love mixing colours; I love reading about colour theory and the history of colour. For me, colour is a never-ending conversation. There are so many shades and tints that act differently next to other colours and on top of or below them. Colour itself is a lifelong exploration and will always be a significant focus of my practice!


How do you balance creativity and motherhood?

I'm very lucky that my partner is a musician and a creative as well. So, we each take the baby and make space for the other to work. It often gets hectic leading up to a tour or a show, but it always works out.


How does it feel to be a woman in the arts, especially over the past two years with COVID?

I am loving seeing lots of inspiring women in the arts and especially in painting right now. As we all know, the attention hasn't always been on women in the art world!
As for COVID, it broke my heart for lots of artists that worked really hard for their shows to be cancelled or to be held purely online with little to no government support. But many people turned to their art in this time as solace, and we are about to see a lot of interesting new ideas as the world opens back up, which is exciting and somewhat of a silver lining.

What inspires your style?

I love vintage shopping, and my personal style revolves around vintage pieces I have found on travels.


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