Chloe McCarrick

Portrait courtesy of Chloe McCarrick

When I first set eyes on Chloe’s work, I was captivated with the elements within her art and what they evoked.  Reminiscent of the historical East Asian art from around the middle of 1600s with its fine gold leaf, rich blue hues and fragile compositions; full of mystery and narration; combined with a bold modern contemporary surrealism.  These artworks portray images of female pioneers with butterfly eyes and crocodile skull caps, or flamboyant bird masks as an eccentric headdress, that only confidence can wear.  It has elements of that delicate ambiance of those noble portrait miniatures of the Napoleonic era of the European elite.  However there is something whimsical and mysterious, reminding me of that romanticism of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte combined with the glamour of Daisy from the Great Gatsby.  These wistful artworks are unique and evocative, created with a combination of techniques, darkroom printed photographs, cyanotype printmaking, hand cut collage, and gold and copper leaf.  This multifaceted, multi-layered approach to modern portrait image making gives it an ethereal otherworldly quality.  They hint on those delicately carved Cameos in precious stones back in Victorian England, in those frail and delicate blues and enamels, set in gold.

artwork Chloe McCarrick
Enchantress Of Numbers (Ode To Ada) by Chloe McCarrick
Artwork by Chloe McCarrick
Circular musings In Heaven (No 8) By Chloe McCarrick
Artwork by Chloe McCarrick
Bust Of Amelia(Over Red Sunset) by Chloe McCarrick

The compositions could be images of women taken back in the beginning of the 20 century, an elegant and timeless chronicle to them.  However her art approaches every topic around us, from evolution to the suffragettes; whether it’s the complex details found in feathers, or whales in the depth of the oceans.  She has a unique skill of making everything appear as if it’s all comes from the same place, like looking at life cycles, from the cells as they evolve and progresses only to create the complex world as we know it.  Her careful constructions of women are deliberate in her artworks, as they are based on legendary, pioneering ladies, from Amelia Earhart to Marie Curie, Ada Lovelace to Hypatia.  Chloe loves storytelling, using extensive research from these women’s histories, celebrating their achievements, their inspirations and their lives. What’s interesting to her, is finding unsung heroes throughout history, those not recognised, and asking why.  She uses her art to challenge, opening dialogues, looking at shifts in culture and changes in how we view femininity and the growth of modern feminism.

Artwork by Chloe McCarrick
Songs Of The Sea by Chloe McCarrick
Artwork by Chloe McCarrick
Mary’s Modern Myth At Midnight by Chloe McCarrick
Artwork by Chloe McCarrick
Musings In Heavan XI by Chloe McCarrick

Chloe was raised in the tiny hamlet of Downham on the border of Lancashire and Yorkshire in Northern England.  Near Pendle Hill, famous for the Pendle witches, and their famous trials back in the 17th Century.  The area is steeped in history and was considered lawless at the time, many of the persons accused of being witches were put to death for crimes of enchantment, sorcery or charm.  They were drowned or hanged in Lancashire castle, and most of them were women.  Her fascination with using historical facts, scientific research, natural history and art resonates in her work.  An avid reader of history books, and a techno buff from a very early age, when she dismantled a camera at the age of four, so she could understand the inner workings.

Artwork by Chloe McCarrick
Circular Nobel Marie by Chloe McCarrick
Artwork by Chloe McCarrick
Convergent Camouflage (Study At Dusk) by Chloe McCarrick
Artwork by Chloe McCarrick
Siren Song by Chloe McCarrick
Artwork by Chloe McCarrick
Amelia The Aviatress At Sunrise by Chloe McCarrick

Her work is also about the materials she uses, making paper from recycling cotton rags, creating a life cycle and building layers.  Her first major exhibition was on completing her foundation course; where she was awarded ‘The Best in Show’ award, for the entire college graduates.  After studying photography at Manchester University, graduating at 24, she went into teaching for several years, as well as working in an art gallery to gain first hand experience in exhibiting and selling art.  After lecturing for 8 years, Chloe decided to become a full time freelance artist and relocated to London a few years later to pursue her dream.  Since moving to the city, she started focusing on how to exhibit and sell her art, so started her own business.  Her career as a solo artist, involves exhibiting her works every other weekend at pop up events, teaching workshops and participating in international art fairs from London to New York, Los Angeles to Paris.  She has her studio in hip arty East London, London, working in her film and processing dark rooms, screen printing area and collage cutting room.

Hypatia’s Scholarly World Revolving In Gold by Chloe McCarrick
Sieze The Moment Study in Gold (Helen’s flight) by Chloe McCarrick
Siren Songs At Sunset – white Frame by Chloe McCarrick

Her most recent exhibitions include The Affordable Art Fair in Battersea, The Other Art Fair Los Angeles and London, ‘InPrint-British Contemporary Printmakers’ at the Platform Gallery, as well her Helen Sharman (first British astronaut in space) piece making an appearance in the ‘One Small Step’ exhibition, curated by Ben Moore and held at Gallery286 Earls Court, London.  Celebrating 50 years since the Moon Landing, this exhibition featured leading artists, such as Anish Kapoor, Joana Vasconcelos, Alison Jackson, D*Face, Mr Brainwash, Bran Symondson, UnSKilled Worker to name a few.  She also had her first ever show in Paris as part of the prestigious Le Salon des Beaux Arts de la Société Nationale des Beaux Arts at the legendary Louvre museum in Paris.  All her upcoming spring and summer global exhibitions have been postponed until later in the year but she will be traveling back to show in Los Angeles, back to London and later to New York late 2020 and early 2021.  Don’t despair, you can currently see her recent work in the Spring edition of the Saatchi Art catalog, the Online Studios for The Other Art Fair/ Saatchi Art, the AAF and in her Exhibition Collection on her website.

Simon Casson

Artist Simon Casson
Photo: Sheridan Casson

Have you ever stood and gazed at a painting that you have been so captivated by, the narrative taking hold of every emotion in you, the landscape resonating all sorts of memories and desires.  Wherever you have had this experience, it resonates a profound sense of awe, that will most likely stay with you forever.  The landscape of Simon’s work is a multifaceted layering of this experience, his paintings, a stroll through museums from anywhere you can imagine, wandering through the old halls of an eclectic mix of Titian, Rubens, Gainsborough, Le Brun, Diego Velazquez or Orazio Gentileschi.  However, there is one catch, Simon’s skill with the paintbrush almost fooling you, one could be convinced that his works are extracts from the originals of those classics; creating a montage or collage effect.  These artworks are all original Casson paintings; assembled to create a landscape of poetic narrative.  It doesn’t stop there, he then combines a contemporary medium of blurring, cutting away elements with hard angles and blunt edges.  His paintings, appear layered up; the whole is a complete modern art form, with all the romance, colour, nostalgia and emotion of a baroque painting, capturing the same textures of silk dresses and garments and the opulence of floristry and romance.

Artwork by Simon Casson
Spirity and Spire I by Simon Casson
Artwork by Simon Casson
Auverlooked by Simon Casson
Artwork by Simon Casson
Frandish by Simon Casson

Born in the UK Simon spent a big chunk of his childhood in Zambia.  When I ask him if the country influenced his work at all he concretely says “no” although he does emphasise the vast landscapes and “a profound sense of green”.  I ask him if he knew he would be an artist when he was young, again he says no, he was not aware of his talent as a boy, although he does recall being top in the class at drawing and that he loved drawing trees.  He then mentions making cars out of wire; which if you have been to Africa you will have seen plenty of wire artworks.  He wanted to be a Game Guard and protect animals from poachers in Africa.  However it was a visit to the National Gallery in London and the painting of Bacchus and Adriane by Titian, that really had a profound impact on the young 10 year old Casson.  By now he was back in the UK attending a boarding school in Cumbria, over the next few years his interest in art developed.

Artwork by Simon Casson
Fretchety II by Simon Casson
Artwork by Simon Casson
Smeech and Vairn by Simon Casson
Artwork by Simon Casson
Vore-noon by Simon Casson

By the time he was 16, he decided he wanted to attend art college. He began with a foundation at Barnsley College of Art and Design; followed by the Rotterdam Acadamie van Beelden Kunsten, an undergraduate Scholarship in the Netherlands.  Returning to the United Kingdom, he attended the Exeter College of Art and Design.  He then completed a BA with First Class Honours in Fine Art at Central St Martins College of Art and Design.  Followed by The London Institute, Central School of Printmaking he completed a Postgraduate Diploma and then the Royal Academy Schools, the Royal Academy of Arts with an MA in Painting.

Artwork by Simon Casson
Keeve by Simon Casson
Artwork by Simon Casson
Ablement and Ablish by Simon Casson, commissioned by the Cadogan Hotel

Simon began teaching Fine Art when he left Art college.  He additionally became involved in prints, finding big sheets of steel from building sites, creating etchings by hand to make a print, along with zinc plates from builders scrap yards, exhibiting the artworks at the Royal Academy.  Now he paints primarily with oil on canvas, his style significant and recognisable.  He defines it beautifully “It’s like looking in the mirror, you recognise yourself and know who you are” his works are sold all over the world including the future king of England, H.R.H The Prince of Wales who owns two of Casson’s paintings, as well as commissions for the legendary Cadogan and Savoy Hotels.  His work has been auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York, 17 awards including the Royal Academy medal for painting.  I fist encountered his work at the Long and Ryle Gallery in central London in Pimlico.  He has had plenty of other solo exhibitions around the world, most recently the USA and filling one of the largest art galleries in Canada with his work.

Artwork by Simon Casson
Savoyards by Simon Casson
Artwork by Simon Casson
Lupercalia, Ilia II by Simon Casson
Artwork by Simon Casson
Anby by Simon Casson

Casson’s method is poetic he explains, he works on the aesthetic renaissance of the figure, bringing it into the 21century, painting more like poetry “When you read a poem” he explains “reading it over and over; when you re-read the poem 5 to 10 years later it has a different meaning” he emphasises.  As with his artworks, walking away for a time and then coming back to it.  Interestingly his inspirations are additionally abstract contemporary artists such as Anselm Kiefer and William De Kooning, Frank Stella as well as landscapes by Jean Baptiste Camille Corot.  Cross pollinating from different mediums, film, poetry and photography he explains, borrowing from one discipline to another, blurring boundaries finding visual inspirations from various fields.  He references film director Peter Greenway’s contemporary films, like A Zed and Two Noughts, and that emotions of post modernism excite him.  Simon’s style is an alternative version of modern art, escaping from concept art, that has been taking hold of the art world for a couple of decades, with advertising executives like Charles Saatchi, becoming collectors and art dealers.

Artwork by Simon Casson
The Great Daedale by Simon Casson

He moved away from London, after  spending 11 years in the city between 1988-1999.  He now lives in Somerset with his wife and three daughters, with their chickens, and other animals, however he visits London regularly, and with each visit, he goes back to the National Gallery, where his journey began.  He is still in love with sitting amongst those Greek Gods, and still visits Bacchus and Adriane.   

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

portrait of artist Simon Casson
Photo: Sheridan Casson

Luc Lapraye

artist Luc Lapraye
Self-Portrait by Luc Lapraye

Luc’s work has all the qualities of the philosopher, his sculptures dominating a space with the precision of an architect, along with his observations of physics.  His influences could be his first career as an engineer combined with his political satire.  Although when I ask him why he chose engineering as his first career choice, he tells me about how his grandfather was a researcher who created infernal machines in search of perpetual motion, and his father’s technical abilities in metal work.  It appears they additionally influenced and impacted the dormant artist within Luc over the years.  The installation artwork ‘Starofvitruvian’ an octagon-shaped sculpture in cor-ten steel, with 10 sides, or the ‘Dandelion’ a sphere shaped artwork, created  with 150 recycled bicycle wheels, emphasising the fragility of this plant as the seed heads cling in a delicate balance in a precise geometrical circular shape.  He created this in order to sensitise the public to respond to the importance of protecting our beautiful planet, he explains.  Luc’s series of giant artworks of ‘Vanity’ the child of mother, a mutant half spider, made of cor-ten steel or recovered scaffolding tubes, could almost be a take on Louise Bourgeois’s famous spider Maman.

Dandelion by Luc Lapraye
Child by Luc Lapraye
artwork by Luc Lapraye
Platon Colomn by Luc Lapraye

His recent series of the diptychs,‘TheSquareMeter’ have a Manichaeism view of the art world, as Luc tells me.  Manichaeism is an ancient belief going back to Persia, founded by the Iranian prophet Mani, as far back as 216-274 AD.  Based on two different concepts that exist between good and evil.  This work confronts the art market, ‘Art Market’ painted in black and ‘Art History’ in white.  It challenges the ever widening gab between art and the art market.  As a fresco it starts with the first painting 1 €/m2, representing that art must be accessible to all, along the economic curve until it reaches 1,000,000,000 €/m2 the final painting representing the Art Market.  A subject that Banksy addressed with his shredded artwork during a Sothebys auction.

artwork Luc Lapraye
TheSquareMeter by Luc Lapraye
artwork by Luc Lapraye
Art History & Art Market by Luc Lapraye

Luc was born in Burgundy France, on the 05/05/1955 at 5am; these numbers play a significant part in his life, he tells me and or multiples of five.  As a boy at school, he was only good at one subject, technical drawing but didn’t consider himself artistic.  His passion for art grew over time, he would spend his two hour lunch break at the self-service book store, sitting on the floor, whilst flicking through contemporary art magazines and art books.  After 35 years as an engineer, Luc took the plunge and decided to change his professional life, he wanted to stay alive, he exclaims.  Describing retirement as the “anti-chamber of Death”  At the age of 55 in 2010, he started studying History of Art at the Louvre, starting from the Renaissance all the way through to our current contemporary art.  He additionally took courses at the Drouot Formation with tutorials from art professionals such as art dealers, gallerists, auction houses, critics and curators. “I wanted to express myself through art and leave a trace of my passage on earth” he explains.  This idea is represented in a series of black and white paintings titled ‘To Die Once Yes, to Die Twice No’ “What I mean by twice, is to die of oblivion” Luc emphasises.

artwork by Luc Lapraye
Platon Colonm by Luc Lapraye
artwork by Luc Lapraye
Platon Colonm by Luc Lapraye

In the ‘1000 years / 1000 painters series’, the artist revisits art history by paying homage to the masters of the second millennium.  He appropriates 5000 famous paintings which he studied on this subject and creates 5000 new ones in a large format of 7×4 m for example  “The Great Wave of Kanagawa” by Hokusai.  His sculpture, made of No-Entry signs, ‘Platon Colonm, Prohibited’ which he describes as confirming its increase in our modern society.  Luc references Covid-19 the viral crisis which is currently affecting the whole planet; it is important to keep certain things prohibited, he explains, for instance banning people from going out to avoid infecting each other.  “As an artist I can only claim that I have ideas, the realisation of the artwork is sometimes made by another craftsmen, industrialist or artist”.  He claims to have no particular style, although his style is evident, as a conceptual artist.

artwork by Luc Lapraye
The Kanagawa wave Hokusai by Luc Lapraye
artwork by Luc Lapraye
Platon Colomn by Luc Lapraye

Then he recalls the number five again, expressing the five stages to his creative process: the first the furtive idea that germinates in his mind; the second phase his illustration or sketch of the idea on A4 paper; the third is the creation of a 1/10 scale model of the concept; the fourth a computer animated model of the sculpture; and his last the creation and manufacture of the artwork and placement in a public space, where there is the highest visibility for the audience to experience the artwork.  His collections of work have been exhibited with a solo show at Gabrielle Maubrie Gallery in Paris titled ‘Loi Carrez’.  His next show was in 2016, ‘TheSquareMeter’ at the Laure Roynette Gallery Paris.  He then exhibited at the Town Hall of the third arrondissement of Paris, followed by his exhibition of ‘Vanity’ at the Port Tonic Art Centre at the Gulf of St Tropez.

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Artwork by Luc Lapraye
Starofvitruvian by Luc Lapraye

Nikoleta Sekulovic

portrait of artist Nikoleta Sekulovic
Photo courtesy of Nikoleta Sekulovic

We are all intrigued by the naked form, it’s what expresses the vulnerability of being human, we come into the world this way.  The larger than life paintings of naked mothers, all slightly turning away from the viewer; encapsulate the beauty of the female form in all her shapes.  The gentle curves of the voluptuous, the body language in how we sit, lie and hold ourselves.  Nikoleta’s paintings are life drawings with life painted into them, and it’s what makes them so unique, her subtle use of colour, her style encapsulating the differing characters of each of these women, all in the brush strokes of the skin.   The kindred spirit of all who have experienced the journey of becoming a mother along with all the gifts and sacrifices motherhood encompasses.  How mothers can feel like the unseen, yet are the centre of the universe to the children they bring into this world.  Nikoleta’s paintings highlight this part of womanhood, to be seen, how our lovers may look at us or how our bodies communicate with the world around us.

SANDRA artwork by Nikoleta Sekulovic
SANDRA by Nikoleta Sekulovic
MICOL artwork by Nikoleta Sekulovic
MICOL by Nikoleta Sekulovic
TOSCA artwork by Nikoleta Sekulovic
TOSCA by Nikoleta Sekulovic

Being naked reveals who we are, when we haven’t exercised enough, or when we have comforted ourselves with too many midnight snacks, when we feel fit and invigorated, or fragile and tired.  Nikoleta’s personalties come to life.  Her paintings are mostly from the back, nudes have been sexualised for so many centuries, she tells me.  No distractions with face, breast and other parts, each muse still recognises themselves.  The only clue is in the hair, that gives life to the person that may be seated or laying softly, with her naked body, portraying the very essence of who she is.

AGNODICE OF ATHENS artwork by Nikoleta Sekulovic
AGNODICE OF ATHENS by Nikoleta Sekulovic
ODYSSEY artwork by Nikoleta Sekulovic
ODYSSEY by Nikoleta Sekulovic

I am interviewing Nikoleta whilst she is on a working holiday in New Zealand with her family, we are talking as she sees her children off to school.  She explains that she is giving her daughters a different experience in New Zealand.  She has been living in Madrid for the last 18 years and that’s where they call home.  She is a bit of what I would call an international, her father from Serbia and her mother from Germany.  Nikoleta was born in Rome, her parents moved to Switzerland when she was three and that’s where she grew up.  Spending most of her childhood up in the idyllic mountains, skiing every weekend.  Her education at the French and then Italian schools, followed by the international school in Geneva.  She always painted often pretending to be sick so she could stay home and paint, everyone around her always commenting on her artistic ability.  She did graduate at the International Baccalaureate in art, however she was put off by the art department.  She felt the teachers kept on telling her how to be an artist, a different structure compared to how she wanted to work, describing her style as “a gut feeling”.

ISOKRATIA artwork by Nikoleta Sekulovic
ISOKRATIA by NIkoleta Sekulovic
Hydna of Scione ny Nikoleta Sekulovic
HYDNA OF SCIONE by Nikoleta Sekulovic
MAYA artwork by Nikoleta Sekulovic
MAYA by Nikoleta Sekulovic

So she continued her nomadic life, ignoring her obvious talent as a painter, and left Switzerland at 18 to pursue a career as an actor.  Surprisingly she admits to being always a very shy child, acting is by all accounts a very extrovert and social profession, however she always liked the spotlight, therefore going against her natural persona.  She went the extra mile to study acting in Exeter in the UK then Paris for five years, somehow she didn’t fear the stage as an actor, Nikoleta explains.  One year in London, then to New York, where she was asked to illustrate children’s books; 100 paintings in total.  Although her focus at the time, was her acting career, which lasted 18 years.  Her performances often involved, speaking in Italian, French and English.  She could also play the piano, and her desire to be with people; she started to attend the jazz clubs in New York.  Although, fearful of singing, her next adventure was as a singer on the jazz scene, even though her boyfriend at the time told her she couldn’t sing.  Almost as personal challenge to herself she started singing on stage as she stumbled upon a restaurant and joined a band.  However, she points out that she was always stressed before going on stage.

NEREID artwork by Nikoleta Sekulovic
NEREID by Nikoleta Sekulovic
SOLON artwork by Nikoleta Sekulovic
SOLON by Nikoleta Sekulovic

As a singer she became a regular at the jazz clubs and that’s where she met her husband, her biggest fan.  He came regularly just to watch and listen to her.  They now have two daughters and  have been together for 20 years.  She confesses that being a mother was her next big fear.  Motherhood did end her acting career Nikoleta confesses.  Her children took her to the next level she explains; as an actor and singer she always felt she was swimming up-stream, by returning to fine art she felt she was going with the stream.  She never tries to be perfect whereas  she tried to be perfect as an actor, she explains.

HYPNOS artwork by Nikoleta Sekulovic
HYPNOS by Nikoleta Sekulovic

Nikoleta describes being an artist as like being a beginner, because she came into it very intuitively.  She always had an agility with the paint brush.  Although she did go to art school, she defines herself as self taught, her inspirations Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and Alphonse Mucha.  Nikoleta started her series of paintings, when she asked a friend to pose for her, her friend brought her lively dog.  Nikoleta started taking images of the moments with her camera, and so she began her series of paintings.  All of them mothers, as they were her friends.  This led to her commissions and it took off, now she has collectively painted about 200 mothers.  She managed to publish a book of her artworks, presented the works which led to solo shows in Madrid, New York, Paris, as well as with prominent galleries in London.  Most recently she has had two exhibitions with the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery in the West End of London.  This is where I discovered her work, they had a stall at the London Art Fair, I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw her painting.

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

portrait of artist Nikoleta Sekulovic
Photo courtesy of Nikoleta Sekulovic

Masayoshi Nojo

Artist Masayoshi Nojo
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

If you have ever driven past a forest at night, when the full moon is out and thought about pulling over in your car to walk through the trees in the moonlight, something probably stopped you, in most cases a bit of fear.  Artist Masayoshi has re-created this foreboding of darkness with the experience, of immersing yourself in this mystery of being lost in the silver and shadiness of tall shadowy trees.  A forest where things are hidden is replaced with the true beauty of this natural phenomenon.  The forms of forest foliage picking up the rays of moonbeams, in an array of iridescent reflection as it glimmers and glows, immersing you in shadowy forms that engulf you, much like our childhood fiction.  You can almost feel the presence of souls and spirits, as your imagination journeys with the cavorting light in the night of nature.  Especially when standing in front of his six meter forest.  The body of work ranges in scale and size as he focuses on other forms of nature as light leaps on top of leaves, or the moonlight in the opening of the woods with the softness of water at night.  Hints of yellow gold and shades of green resonate through in a delicate dance.  The body of work is currently displayed at the JD Malat gallery in Mayfair, London.  The space itself lends to the experience of Masayoshi’s giant artwork.

Under the Moonlight by Masayoshi Nojo
Mirage #45 by Masayoshi Nojo
Under the Moonlight by Masayoshi Nojo
Mirage #46 by Masayoshi Nojo
Under the Moonlight, Mirage by Masayoshi Nojo
Mirage #36 by Masayoshi Nojo

The method of his creations is what gives them this immersive and luminous quality.  Inspired by his walks in the deep forests, surrounding the Meiji shrine, located in Shibuya, Tokyo.  Masayoshi explains that 70% of Japan’s landscape is mountains, mostly covered with woodland. His artworks identify with Japanese culture, embracing the natural phenomena of nature, a very popular motive in Japanese art, he explains.  Paintings of flowers and blossoms and the use of gold and silver leaf on artworks going as far back to the Azuchi–Momoyama period from 1573 to 1615.  However most notably Ogata Korin from the 17 century Edo period, famous for his blooms on gold leaf and marbled silver rivers.  The changing colours of the metal through oxidisation over time, that has become so symbolic in Japanese art.  It is this very combination of the influence in the elements in Korins work reflecting the passing of time, combined with the western contemporary approach in Masyoshi’s work that is so extraordinary.  It is reflected in this multifaceted layering.  He first creates a marbled base made of acrylic, then he photographs the natural environment of the woodlands, emphasising the passage of time with the use of metal leafs.  Images can vary from the time of day, the weather changing the lighting and ambience, therefore the art is influenced by the effects of time, Masayoshi explains.

Under the Moonlight, Mirage by Masayoshi Nojo
Mirage #44 by Masayoshi Nojo
Under the Moonlight, Mirage by Masayoshi Nojo
Mirage #47 by Masayoshi Nojo
Under the Moonlight by Masayoshi Nojo
Mirage #48 by Masayoshi Nojo

Masayoshi works on his images in photoshop, manipulating the photographs, which are then transferred via silk screen printing onto the acrylic marbled base; inspired by the traditional techniques used to create patterns on Kimonos.  He does the screen printing himself, creating a multi faceted depth to the works and then additionally applies silver and aluminium leaf.  Refining the intricacy of light and shadow.  He describes at as a ‘mirage’ depending on how the light effects the artworks, a perception of time, the relationship of memory using light to transform the reality of the artwork.  He references “wabi-sabi” a world centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection, the aesthetic in Japanese culture, that beauty is in all things, even those that are imperfect. This appreciation of change is reflected in his materials and his process of creating the art.

Under the Moonlight by Masayoshi Nojo
Mirage #43 by Masayoshi Nojo
Under the Moonlight by Masayoshi Nojo
Mirage #40 by Masayoshi Nojo
Under the Moonlight by Masayoshi Nojo
Mirage #42 by Masayoshi Nojo

Remarkably, Masayoshi reveals that he made the screen printer himself, the actual machine, he explains it was cost effective to make it himself, which he keeps in his one of his two studios in Tokyo.  He was born in  Kanagawa, in 1989, to an artistic family.  I ask him if always knew he would be an artist, and he reveals, his early years as a boy he was always painting, the only member of the family who isn’t a professional musician.  His mother a piano and music teacher, along with his sister a professional violinist and his brother plays both the violin and guitar.  However undecided on his career choice, Masayoshi went to an academic school and he didn’t paint during this period.  His mother did encourage him to paint; after graduating from high school, he decided on the Kyoto University of Art and Design to study Fine Art for four years, along with a masters for two years in art and design.  During his masters in 2014, he made his first visit to London, inspired by the museums, galleries and art fairs the experience left an impression, “There were so many differences from Japan” he explains and decided that he wanted to exhibit in this city famous for its diversity.  Additionally Masayoshi is Influenced by artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Michael Borremans, Olafur Eliasson,On Kawar and Rudolf Stingel.

JD Malat gallery
‘Under the Moonlight’ by Masayoshi Nojo at the JD Malat Gallery
JD Malat Gallery
‘Under the Moonlight’ by Masayoshi Nojo at the JD Malat Gallery

Masayoshi’s work has appeared in various art galleries in Tokyo.  However in the spring of 2018, is when visionary and internationally recognised Art Dealer Jean-David Malat discovered Masayoshi’s work at the Volta NY in New York, US.  Jean-David exhibits contemporary artists in his gallery, advocating the emerging and modern talents, to some of the most prominent collectors. That vision Masayoshi had as a student, has become a reality, now exhibiting at the JD Malat Gallery, in Mayfair.  The series of work, his ‘Mirage’ titled, Under the Moonlight his first solo show. 

The exhibition runs until the 15 February 2020, at the JD Malat Gallery just next door to Claridge’s. 

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Artist Masayoshi Nojo
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Adam Robinson

artist Adam Robinson
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Clear lines and geometric shapes, the finest of the architectural eye, with methodical detail and accuracy, until you move in closer and the closer you look the more complex it becomes.  Within Adam’s artworks is a collage artist who reflects the complexity of our world in the detail, giving the frameworks of something clean and mathematical.  It’s what architecture does, it’s intimidating as we stand in awe of it.  It is however a large part of his work: the mathematics, calculations and geometry, precision and patience.  Though the realms of the meaning are something completely different.  His works are reminiscent of those days in the 50’s when men in advertising like the television series ‘Mad Men’ sold a world of sexism and clichés, men’s DIY at home and women with aprons in the kitchen.  Letters with postage stamps, all with hidden meanings.  The nostalgia of this capitalist era seen through the eyes of tower block windows and old printed material.  

Homemaker by Adam Robinson
Practical Mechanics by Adam Robinson
The Practical Motorist by Adam Robinson

The stamps reflecting the times when there was no other way to communicate but with a letter by post.  The designs of old wallpapers and postcards, old Monopoly cards, vintage paper targets, old Polish board games, bird and flower collectible cards from old tea boxes, antique maps and old seed packets.  All selling that Western dream created by those in the marketing world.  His collage art is a journey through flea markets, vintage shops and the nostalgia of what is a bygone era.  However many alive today remember with a vivid accuracy as if it was still here.  Adam has taken this time in our recent history of a world just as it began to recover after the Second World War, and brought it into the 21st century.  Taking in elements of architecture, typically styled upon the classic high-rises from the 50’s and 60’s up to today, he has made his artwork ultra-slick and ultra-modern, the perfect circles of carefully placed artefacts, raised and organised, playing with shadow and light, to create artwork for the most modern contemporary.  Yet when you stand up close you are drawn into an era of longing for a time when the world appeared pitch perfect in its portrayal, however in reality far from it.

Artwork Adam Robinson
Sunset by Adam Robinson
Artwork by Adam Robinson
All Over the World by Adam Robinson
Artwork Adam Robinson
A Lasting Finish by Adam Robinson

Originally from Sydney, growing up in the suburban Hills District, his father a policeman and his mother in sales, he is reflective of where his creativity comes, and is reminiscent of his grandmother, an art and crafts teacher.  As a boy he recalls that he was always collecting and making things; an achieving academic however loved art at school.  His parents divorced when he was 12 and his family moved west to a more rural district.  He took more art classes, yet outside those; his parents looked at the life of an artist as a life of poverty, and persuaded Adam to study something that would result in a job so he chose Theatre Design.  He loved his degree at Wollongong University, he tells me, with a beaming smile; “it was very creative and you could really go for it, with ideas”. He learnt to draw things in 3D for theatres which is why he uses it now in his art, the precision with technical drawing with which he was trained. He was additionally responsible for supervising the theatre set during its construction.

artwork Adam Robinson
Artis Zoo 1940 by Adam Robinson
Artwork Adam Robinson
Artis Zoo 1940 by Adam Robinson
artwork Adam Robinson
Spin Quiz by Adam Robinson

Adam then tells me, after graduating as a young man in his early 20’s, he worked in a cinema as an usher, or in hotels, and whilst working these jobs he was making artworks, often bigger pieces with stuff that he would find, pull apart and then put back together.  With this he created his first body of work, and contributed to a group exhibition titled ‘Walking the Streets’.  At that time he discovered how he loves the complete creative control of making art.  Then his life took a different turn: a friend of his got him a job in the art department at the legendary Aussie soap Home and Away.  This was the beginning of a 16 year career in television, and suddenly earning good money.  His career as an Art Director involved standing by during shoots coordinating everything for the art department, script reading, gathering and making props off all kinds, including computer and graphic props, so he had his hand in most pies.  His four years with the soap led him to London where he worked on Eastenders, The Bill, Holby City, CBBC and film commercials, to name a few, however always doing his art on the side.  His art was always in the back of his mind, Adam explains.  Whilst living in the UK, he started finding new materials to use and began his next body of work with the notion of using components that have an essence of the past but in a new contemporary context.  He recalled his grandfather, a teacher in mathematics, who had tools in his shed, and this helped him harness the idea: the feeling of domesticity and those masculine elements, the ideal life of that time, and the cross-over of the two.

artwork by Adam Robinson
Illuminated Niagara Falls by Adam Robinson
On the Pier by Adam Robinson

Four years ago he gave up his TV career to focus on his art.  Three years ago it took off when an artwork was sold to the Hoxton Hotel, and he hasn’t looked back.  He has been accepted at The Other Art Fair in London and Brooklyn N.Y, Roy’s Art Fair in London and Sussex Art Fair, as well as numerous group shows and a solo show at a gallery in Clapham, London.  In the first six months a lot had been happening but he did have doubts about taking the plunge to be an artist.  Just before this time he had been living with his husband in New York for one year above Hell’s Kitchen, near Central Park.  His husband’s company needed him in the US for this period and during this time Adam was a ‘housewife’, he tells me.  However he would go to the flea markets and start collecting, especially American materials, incubating his ideas to become the artworks.  Those pieces are reflective of the high rises, and the American dream.  His husband who he has been with for twenty years is his biggest champion.  

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Artist Adam Robinson
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Nic Gotch

Artist Nic Gotch
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Pomegranates and peppers, blackberries and wild garlic, sounds like the ingredients to a menu.  Using her camera, Nic Gotch has created almost an Alice in Wonderland perspective in a glass dome, using an amalgamation of ingredients.  There is something of a fairytale, the idea of being lost in the depth of the woods, the etherial mystique of the unknown shifting amongst the foliage, the richness of colour, the vibrance of earthy tones, and as you linger in the fantasy, you can smell the environment.  Fruits and roses, an array of vegetation, captured in this magic of colour and texture.  These artworks have elements of an old Rembrandt, in beautiful seasonal colours, with this idea of a romantic aura, as if coming out of something else.  Gazing at these works you may think you are staring at a painting until you realise, all this terrific illusion is created with a camera.  Images of roses using reflection and playing with light and shadow, every detail of the pale pinks in the rose or rich blood reds of the pomegranate seeds, the elements of the delicate and fragile, combined with the softer shapes and tones of peacock feathers, berries and a complex mix of flora and fauna, encompassing this modern take on Victorian Circular art.

artwork by Nic Gotch
Storyspheres by Nic Gotch
artwork by Nic Gotch
Storysheres by Nic Gotch
Artwork by Nic Gotch
Storyspheres by Nic Gotch

Nic captures the nostalgia of the Pre-Raphaelite era in her still-life artworks. Yet her modern take on this idea, using her camera, with her abundant detail and intense colours of the kitchen cupboard and garden foliage,  is deliberate to appear as a painting.  She uses specialist fine art paper for her prints, to add to this effect.  I meet Nic at the gallery where her work is being exhibited, which runs parallel to the Shapero antique book shop.  We chose to chat nearby, in the Sotheby’s coffee shop, just opposite to her show.  Surrounded by an eclectic mix of artworks covering the walls.  Nic becomes reminiscent of her early influences, her grandmother’s rose garden and her prints of Victorian paintings and old Dutch Masters. Thomas Cooper Gotch a distant relative, was one of the last British Pre- Raphaelite artists, who additionally left his influence on her work.  Nic was born Fulham, London, however she spent a significant part of her childhood in Belgrade, where she attended the international school in Serbia.  The family returned to Buckinghamshire England when she was eight, Nic attended an academic girls school and then graduated from Brighton University reading Visual studies and English.

Artwork by Nic Gotch
Rosebowls by Nic Gotch
Artwork by Nic Gotch
Rosebowls by Nic Gotch

She loved her first job as a Production Manager, for Broadcast TV, working on international outside broadcasts – large scale concerts, sports events and music programs with musicians such as Paul McCartney.  However she decided to do a MA in Film Making and TV Production, with the hope she could be more hands on and create.  This led to working in live studio productions, and then she ran her own Production company, with writers and producers commissioning her to do pilots for documentaries.  Her career was adjourned in the discovery that what she was really interested in is the concepts behind the documentary ideas.  She then achieved a diploma in Design at the Open University.  Idea Generation interested her, especially the part of that process involving the incubation of an idea where you let your intuition and unconscious be the inspiration.  She followed this interest further which involved completing a conversion course and then undertaking a full-time MSC in Psychology.  This enabled her to study intuition and creativity and its role in decision making with the hope of working in this field.  Alongside this study, her path as a photographer began.  She had always been interested and loved taking photos since she was six years old, always working behind the camera.

Artwork by Nic Gotch
Storyspheres by Nic Gotch
Artwork Nic Gotch
Storyspheres by Nic Gotch

Although she is accepted more as an artist than a photographer.  It’s the immediacy about photography that she enjoys, Diana Arbus and Dayanita Singh are among her favourites.  She really likes how other photographers can capture the essence of a person, something she finds hard to do herself.  This interest in photography inspired her to set up the North London Photographic Society.  Using her own intuitive creative process to develop her own style, she started taking photography more seriously.  Her first body of work was Street Photography where light plays a strong part and she began experimenting with reflection.  She then changed to still-life photography and four years ago she started her ‘Seasonsphere’ collection.  Working on each change of the season, going for walks with purpose, noticing the smaller changes in the natural environment and collecting natural objects.  Her next collection was the ‘Rosebowls’ inspired by differing aspects of romantic attachment.  Her current series is called ‘Storyspheres’ where the gathered dried flowers, fruits and vegetables convey hidden and mysterious tales.  Her life is split working between European cultures, half the year she is in the beautiful Pyrenees, surrounded by the mountains on the borders between France and Spain and the other half in North London.  In Europe it is where she does her workshops in intuitive photography, and in London, her works appearing in the prominent Art fairs and galleries.

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Artist Nic Gotch

Peter Moolan Feroze

Artist Peter Moolan Feroze
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Gazing at Peter’s artworks has the nostalgia of walking around Paris in a late afternoon, the casual refinement of people lounging in an illustrative style, reminiscent of Toulouse Lautrec’s posters of the Moulin Rouge, somehow lingering in the background. The slick lines sketching the outline of the naked female form, or capturing the ambience of a room in the late afternoon, the view of the ocean through an open window, a girl in a yellow dress by moonlight and a cat watching a girl sit alone.  The post impressionist style lingers in these colourful prints, in rust orange, cobalt blue, bright turquoise the simple shapes conveying the fluidity of movement and shape, drawn with simple curves and lines. It’s life drawing in a moment, sketching the alive and spontaneous, capturing the overlooked and unseen on an average day.  This is what is so captivating in Peter’s illustrative artworks; it unfolds a narrative open to interpretation, allowing us to take us where we want to go when looking at his work.

Artwork Peter Moolan Feroze
Flower Girl by Peter Moolan Feroze
Artwork Peter Moolan Feroze
Tasting Olives by Peter Moolan Feroze

Peter is an illustrator and a painter, you see his life drawing technique shine through, however he has encapsulated the story in the artwork with these swift movements of an artists pen, as if it were a sketch, added to this, his play on colour.  What is even more extraordinary, these artworks are masterfully painted on his iPad, he is adept at using the tools available, the use of colour and the editing process, drawing with the pen and even his finger on the iPad.  Playing with different edits on the computer, creating artworks to be as natural as possible.  This high resolution illustration, is then masterfully developed. The second stage, his relationship with the printer! Knowing what lends itself to large format. He was always fascinated with drawing, loves the early Italians as well as Matisse and Cézanne. Peter has also explored music through songwriting and teaches creativity at the London Business School.

Artist Peter Moolan Feroze
Flame by Peter Moolan Feroze
Artwork Peter Moolan Feroze
Moonlight by Peter Moolan Feroze
Artwork Peter Moolan Feroze
Black Cat and Mediterranean by Peter Moolan Feroze

He went to boarding school and having experienced dyslexia found solace in the art department.  He achieved A levels in Medieval History, Art and History of Art and then attended a foundation course at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts.  He went on to attend the famous Slade School of Fine Art at London University.  After graduating he visited a friend in America and toured on Greyhound buses.  Returning to the United Kingdom he was accepted by the Royal Academy of Arts for a post graduate.  After his studies at the Royal Academy, he started teaching in a sixth form college which resulted in him and his wife Liz setting up the Royal Academy of Arts Outreach Programme for schools, influential creative life drawing workshops that resulted in three exhibitions of children’s drawings in the prestigious galleries of the RA. His art work continued but without exhibiting as he was committed to teaching in school and businesses. It has come as a welcome surprise to be selling prints of his art and enjoying an enthusiastic audience later in life. It was his brother Jonathan who saw the potential and introduced him to the art dealer Nic McElhatton who is now his Gallery owner. This resulted in selling limited edition prints at the Affordable At Fair Battersea and Hampstead. People are beginning to recognise his works, and it’s exciting, next is Miami, and a charity event as he makes his mark on the American market.

Artwork Peter Moolan Feroze
Yellow by Peter Moolan Feroze
Artwork Peter Moolan Feroze
Windy Day, Marseille by Peter Moolan Feroze

Peter and his family left the United Kingdom and moved to France 15 years ago, purchasing a house with plenty of space for his young family as well as their seven cats. He travels to London and other countries where he holds seminars and creativity workshops  for The London Business School. His recent artworks are influenced by his move to the continent, creating pictures such as Tasting Olives, which was inspired by watching people tasting in the market place in Aix en Provence. The influence of his life in France combined with being an English native, is what gives his work so much appeal, it’s about observation from two perspectives. The sensuousness of the south and the intensity of light, colour and expression, combined with a northern, cooler regard for qualities of traditional drawing and an economy of means, this combination is at the heart of his work.

Artist Peter Moolan Feroze
Orange Necklace by Peter Moolan Feroze
Artwork Peter Moolan Feroze
Reflection by Peter Moolan Feroze

His ideas also stem from his teaching in businesses which focus on different ways of thinking. Peter explains “Innovation is crucial too many organisations, businesses are always looking for new opportunities and realise that ambiguity, uncertainty and change are all key aspects of the modern business context.  However ambiguity and uncertainty don’t always sit comfortably in the business mind so having the opportunity to experience these concepts  through drawing themselves can be very powerful and useful.” Then Peter tells me something fascinating, that it’s the ambiguity and uncertainty that is an artist, the not knowing where you are going, these are the things that are like breath for an artist.  Then he quotes TS Elliott “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” 

Thank you to Nic McElhatton, Gallery owner, Jonathan Feroze, business associate and Jill Mosovich, U. S Agent

Interview: Antoinette Hasehorst

Artist Peter Moolan Feroze
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Corinne Chauvet

Corinne Chauvet featured in CAKE
Photo: Didier Beguin-Chauvet

It’s not often you see a contemporary version of Buddhist art in the style of Corinne, we are all familiar with Buddha crossed legged, the majestic symbolism of reincarnation, nirvana, yoga and liberating insight.  Corinne’s work is reminiscent of that spiritual quality, in as such that most of her art is of Buddhist monks, combined with an observation of the human face.  There is something droll about her artwork, they convey interaction, the variety of expression, different happy faces, along with the enjoyment we seek as humans in being together.  Sometimes it’s just the faces and then the whole person and the overall effect is this contemporary rugged refinement.  The theme of concentrating on these monks began with her choice to go travelling, focusing on Asian countries like Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, the Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups, and this is where she discovered the face, she tells me.  Describing how she became attracted to the Asian face, she explains that she couldn’t read anything when she arrived.  Purely for the reason that the language and written word in this part of the world was so alien to her.  That the way you see the world is like a child, she emphasises.  This observation is very prevalent in her work.

sculpture by Corinne Chauvet
Conversation by Corinne Chauvet
Sculpture of Buddhist Monk by Corinne Chauvet
Hitsuko Shima -3-8 Bronze by Corinne Chauvet
Sculpture by Corinne Chauvet
Ajima by Corinne Chauvet

What Corinne observed, is how these Monks in Myanmar who have taken a vow of poverty by choosing this lifestyle and when they weren’t meditating, they were happy and smiling, this made her think of her own country France. The French have everything a social security system, free healthcare and they are always complaining and unhappy, she tells me, this trip gave her a new insight and she fell in love with the Monks faces.  These sculptures one could say represent the best of ourselves, they have wisdom and an innocence running through them.  Then Corinne discusses her earlier sculptures; they were straight, simple and really long elongated figures, she saw herself as shy but really strong, and this body of work represented this, she titled it ‘La Femme Fille’ (The woman Child).  She believes this is when her real life began.  Corinne was born near Poitiers in the centre of France, her father an engineer and mother a teacher.  They moved to the South of France, when she was very young, her father had decided to become a goat farmer and produce Capri cheese.  Corinne grew up in the countryside, and spent plenty of time moulding the white clay from the lake, observing how her mother took the same clay from the lake and started to make things during the summer months.  Our mother opened my brothers and my mind, she explains, educating us in music, dance, theatre and art, she wanted us to be artists and now her brother is a photographer and graphic designer.  At the age of 12 her parents divorced and they moved to the city where Corinne attended the high school near Toulouse.

Buddhist Monk bronze sculpture by Corinne Chauvet
SOHIRE Bronze by Corinne Chauvet
Sculpture by Corinne Chauvet
Migration by Corinne Chauvet
Sculpture by Corinne Chauvet in CAKE
Classroom by Corinne Chauvet

Corinne studied Fine Art and History of Art, for five years, three in Montpellier, followed by one year in Bordeaux, she was primarily a painter, but didn’t really enjoy it,  her final year she spent in Leicester, in the United Kingdom.  She recalls visiting Chatsworth House where she encountered the sculptor Elizabeth Frink’s work, she was so impressed by her work, her bronze sculptures of figures appearing to be running through the woods,  this inspired Corinne, and she decided this is what she wanted to do, be a sculptor.  Today Corinne spends half her time in Paris with her husband and the other half in her larger studio, in the town of Albi.

Sculpture by Corinne Chauvet featured in CAKE
Hashima Gres Noir by Corinne Chauvet
Artwork by Corinne Chauvet
Conversion Bleue Izenajima et Bentojima Gres Noir by Corinne Chauvet

She is currently completing a Public commission, her first public sculpture in the town of Montauban near Toulouse, the artwork is a homage to the legendary artist Antoine Bourdelle.  The artwork stands 3.5 x 3.5 meters in size and is made primarily of resin, a modern form of sculpture, it’s a majestic piece of art, in brilliant white of Hercules, titled ‘Herakles’ as he comes out of the earth with his bow and arrow; 40 sculptors applied for this commission and only four were given the chance to showcase their artwork.  She used a new method of sculpture as she anticipated that Bourdelle would do the same, as he was one of the leaders of modern sculpture along with his friend and colleague Rodin.

Herakles by Corinne Chauvet
Herakles by Corinne Chauvet
Sculpture by Corinne Chauvet
Herakles by Corinne Chauvet

Corinne, has dedicated herself fully to her life as a sculptor, I worked for a museum and didn’t work as a sculptor for 10 years, everyone was telling me being an artist wasn’t a job.  Then she tells me of how one rainy night she had a huge car accident, nearly loosing her life.  They had to do a skin graft from her leg to her arm, to prevent her from loosing it.  When something really hard happens in your life, it changes you, you begin to realise the price of life, Corinne explains.  You can choose to be happy or choose what is considered right all the time.  “The way of Buddhist philosophy is when you are doing something, it’s about what you are doing in the moment.  You don’t think about the past or future, you think about the now”.  As an artist she has exhibited around the world, with her work being shown in Monaco viewed by Monegasque Royalty Princess Caroline.  Clearly the enchantment of her clay and bronze sculptures resonate that kindred spirit of happiness and joy with a trendy ethereal quality.  For that’s what makes these sculptures so powerful, they represent the faces of wisdom with a modern edge.

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Corinne Chauvet featured in CAKE
Photo: Didier Beguin-Chauvet

.

Sara Pope

Photo Portrait of artist Sara Pope
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

When we walk down the road and smile at a stranger, or sit in a coffee shop sipping on hot coffee and talk to our friend sitting opposite us.  We don’t necessarily think about our lips, maybe only to apply lipstick or to moisturise them when they are dry.  Actually our face has a significant amount of information in every detail, how our faces communicate is what fascinates contemporary artist Sara.  She has narrowed it down though and is concentrating on just lips.  We may notice those lips, when you watch the news reader discuss the topics of the day, or the musician on stage as their mouth touches the microphone, or that sensuous excitement the moment you stare at a someones lips just before you are about to kiss them.  Her pop art style entices the very essence of the mouth.  Beautiful sumptuous full bodied kissable lips, mischievous lips, shy lips, nervous lips, sexy, deliciously glamorous and erotic lips.  In flamboyant reds on gold, sparkling diamonds on pinks, baby neon blues and black there is something devilishly dramatic in her art, with a sophisticated edge.

Neon lips artwork by Sara Pope
LIT by Sara Pope
Contemporary Neon lips artwork
MIAMI REALNESS by Sara Pope

When I first meet Sara, it’s almost obvious that she would be the artist, as I enter the Turner Barnes gallery in the affluent Brentwood.  Standing tall and elegant amongst her rainbow of red paintings displayed on the fresh white walls, she brings me some water as we sit down to talk.  Her lips are painted red and I am immediately looking at them as we start to chat about communication.  She started her first collection about ten years ago, her fascination with the human face are her inspirations.  Her portraits of elderly women in New York resonate that desire to transform ourselves, next a series of distorted paintings of glamours women with applied make-up, particularly resonate the influence of Francis Bacon.  Expression, it all comes through the face she explains, you don’t even have to say anything, “it’s the curl of a lip!” and Sara demonstrably curls her lip up.  She is equally fascinated with how people modify themselves.  How make-up and dressing changes the way you feel, it’s transformative, and we discuss a time when this was the only way women could express themselves and communicate, especially with each other.

Lips artworks by Sara Pope
BOSS by Sara Pope
Artwork by Sara Pope in CAKE
APHRODITE by Sara Pope
portrait of artist Sara Pope
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst

Sara grew up in the industrial town of Stoke on Trent near Manchester, not a visually striking place as she describes it, and although she loved to draw from a young age and had a love for fashion and make-up.  She went on to have a very academic education.  School was terrible for art, where she grew up, dry and boring, is how she explains it.  However Sara was particularly excellent in maths and she has a degree in Mathematics.  Her mother was a teacher and her father a computer scientist who headed a computer firm, ahead of his time, leading the way in the computer science industry.  They retired at 50, moving to Spain.  She tells me how when she visited Barcelona at 21 that she decided her path was in the creative industry so she made the choice to live in this beautiful city and applied for a short course in Graphic and design.  Always fascinated with how people dressed and expressed themselves and how it changes the way you feel.  Sara returned to London and started working in the magazine industry as an Art Director and designer.  Addressing her passion for fashion, she became an avid collector of Vintage shoes and clothes and then created a vintage shop with parties selling her precious finds. Then she met a fashion designer who invited her to design a collection of shoes.

neon artwork of lips by Sara Pope
SPOILER ALERT by Sara Pope
Modern Lips artwork by Sara Pope
PSYCHO CANDY by Sara Pope

This incredible turn in her life led to a degree at the London College of Fashion graduating as a shoe designer, drawing shoes and working for many years in the industry, for designers such as Paul Smith, as well as projects for brands like Zara designing for catwalks, in Spain and Paris.  As she talks to me about her career in shoe design, I am thinking to myself, this has got be the perfect job, however Sara didn’t feel she was fully expressing herself.  She secretly started dabbling in her own art, “I felt compelled to start painting” so Sara started teaching herself how to paint, working with oils and acrylic, diluted, blending and reapplied to create a smooth effect, that in some cases her lips look so realistic you think it’s a photo.

Artwork of lips by Sara Pope
SCARLET STARLET by Sara Pope
Contemporary artwork of lips
VILLANELLE by Sara Pope

Inspired by perfection of the finished image, she works with models, taking photographs of her subjects expressing themselves, then amplifies the mouth, it’s super slick, ultra polished all creating an illusion and influenced by working in the magazine industry.  It becomes even more fascinating when you look at the mathematics behind of what is regarded as beauty or perfection, some plastic surgeons work with the theory of the symmetry of the Golden ratio. Arguably some may disprove this notion of what is beautiful, but it’s interesting nonetheless.  There is equally another theory of the ratio between things the Rule of thirds, this applies to the composition of paintings, photography or graphic design. Don’t forget Sara is also a mathematician. Then she quotes Galileo “Nature is written in the language of maths”.  Sara may no longer work in the fashion industry, she has made a name for herself an artist, exhibiting in galleries around the world.  A current project with Tiger Heart Creative, is taking her to another dimension, an Artificial intelligence (AI) experience.  A large scale hologram of lips and viewers can have a conversation with these AI lips, and the conversation can go anywhere.

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Photoshoot location and cakes courtesy of Turner Barnes Gallery

Photography by Antoinette Haselhorst
Photo: Antoinette Haselhorst