We first met Sara Winfield a year ago while exhibiting at ACO in Cott… We immediately fell in love with her “Doe-eyed girls” and since then the Dunsborough based artist has added swimwear designer to the resume.
Now she’s gearing up for a new exhibition, so we sat day with the serene blonde herself…
- From the second we saw them, we fell in love with your 'Doe Eyed Girls' - how did she come about?
They were initially such sad and dark little people. All this built up emotional and feeling came pouring out as I found ways to access and express. Over time, these girls have become so much lighter and angelic. I never considered the thought of becoming an artist. I always thought I'd design ready to wear or swimwear. But, the more I drew and painted the more I realised it was such an easy outlet for creative energies. Sometimes the more commissions I do, the less I feel connected to me work - it can be a little soul destroying. I often get asked if I will ever paint anything else - which I will! But the doe eyed girls aren't going anywhere very quickly. They are the truest expression of my feelings and inner female.
- You're living the dream and are based in Dunsborough; does south-west life influence your art?
It doesn't affect my art so much in subject. I actually struggled to base myself in Dunsborough initially, finding the distance to resources a barrier. But now I see it as a calming and relaxing place. It allows you the most carefree lifestyle, which generally keeps me calm and my paintings not so 'dark.' I've recently decided to live out of a van and paint from there - constantly staying in touch with nature and not letting the stresses of households wear me down.
- Tell us about your swimwear collection and the plans for it this year?
I initially started a swimwear line because I'd studied fashion and always felt a 'pull' to follow it through. It was both incredibly rewarding and stressful, and I learnt so much about the industry and myself. Sadly, I won't be continuing the label this year. I realised my focus was best spent painting and having exhibitions, and my heart would never have fully been in it. I'm proud of what I achieved in a year, but also quite relieved to just get back to the brushes and paints!
- Tell us about your up-coming April exhibition? Whats your influence? How do you want people to feel when they see the works?
My exhibition, titled Chimerical, is all about the mind vs feelings. Recently, I've noticed my brain sometimes doesn't do what I'd like it to... it dreams and wanders, and I'd like this series of paintings to reflect that the brain is such a tangible, complex thing. The paintings will feature mainly the doe-eyed girls again, in an autumn hued palette of apricot, wine and dove grey. Their expressions and 'sense of being' are painted to express a feeling of lost innocence. A sort of vulnerability being trapped in your own mind 24/7. It's hard to get some people to view beyond just a pretty, pastel face, but, I'd really like viewers to keep an open mind about where the watery eyes or vague expression might have come from - and how it ultimately makes them feel.
Sara Winfeilds latest exhibition runs from18th April to 2nd of May at 7/ 513 Hay st, Subiaco. For more info; www.sarawinfield.com