Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sarah Thomas, and I am an artist and visiting lecturer. Primarily I am a sculptor but my practice includes many different disciplines and drawing is a fundamental part to all my work. I particularly love the process of creating collage searching out and collecting materials then piecing them together.
How would you describe your pieces in 3 words?
Playful, Drawing, Colourful.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I've been chased by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
How did you get into art? Is it necessary to go to art school?
Creativity was in my blood, and for as long as I can remember I have been drawing and making. My grandmother was very creative and my family have always supported me throughout my education and artistic career.
As both an artist and lecturer I think art school is so important. I look back particularly at my time at the Royal College. For me art school was the place where I had the time and space to experiment. I always tried to make the most of having experienced technicians and workshop facilities. I was really fortunate to have had fantastic inspirational Art teachers, tutors and technicians along the way who inspired and encouraged me to be curious and creative.
On average, how long does it take to complete a piece?
It really depends what I'm working on but a collage generally takes a few hours. I think my most successful outcomes happen when they are not laboured but more spontaneous. I work best when I have a few things on the go.
What are your favourite materials to use - or what materials do you find challenging or produce results which surprised you?
I use so many different materials in my practice. A reoccurring theme in my work is relief, whether that's within my collage or sculptural work. So, many of the materials that I use are flat and have edges. I love working with metal particularly scaffolding poles that can be flattened and curled creating linear sculptures. Giving me a way to be able to draw through space. I love the results created when juxtaposing dissimilar materials such as wrapping neon string around polished metal.
Who are your 3 favourite artists or influencers?
Grayson Perry. Surrealism.
I have just come back from my first trip to India so I am currently completely obsessed with everything Indian but particularly Rajasthani miniature painting and Kathakali costume and theatre.
What type of setting do you visualise your work in?
A setting that you would not expect to see my work in. Maybe the John Soane's Museum or a bus depot.
Who would be your ideal client to commission a piece?
The Victoria & Albert Museum. I would love to have free reign of the V&A's collection.
What is your dream project?
The V&A gig would be a dream. I'd live there if they would let me.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
Make stuff happen - don't wait for others to do it for you.
If you could own one work of art from Rise Art what would it be?
I love Hormazd Narielwalla's work. Any piece from his Le Petit Echo de la Mode series.