What’s behind the creative mind Sarah Porter

By Rhiannon Day Celebrating the arts in Brome-missisquoi

With support from her grandmother, a successful sculptor, and a mother with theatrical education, artist Sarah Porter grew up with a life filled with art. This artist mentions knowing from a very young age that she always wanted to pursue her creative passions. Sarah entered college at age 16, later graduating with an honours in fine arts from Sunderland College of Art and Goldsmiths College, University of London. There, she explored the media of ceramics, painting, and drawing, later becoming a ceramics and painting teacher.

Sarah taught for two years before immigrating to Canada, where she then made a career in graphic arts. This included working with a silk screen company, working with advertising, and working as a graphic designer in Montreal until 1990, as well as eventually starting her own company. In 1994, Sarah decided to return to England for several years, immersing herself in the world of art in her home country. There, Sarah became involved with a group of artists in London, “Five Women Artists Plus”, working to promote women’s art. After thirteen years, Sarah decided to return to Canada and eventually settled in Lac Brome. She now paints full time, and has been exhibiting with Tour des Arts since 2012. When she renewed her painting career, she travelled North America extensively, especially the areas of western Canada and the southwestern United States, which deeply influence her art today.

The main themes of Sarah’s artwork include nature, music, and the female form. While occasionally hidden within her work, this artist mentions these themes widespread throughout her paintings. Sarah works mainly with paint, yet also occasionally includes items such as sand, plaster, and found objects or various items found from the hardware store, in order to provide texture and interesting layers. The vibrant colours she employs are, as she mentions, “the hardest thing to accomplish as a painter.” Bright, textural, and quiltlike in nature, Sarah explains that her art is inspired by the textiles that she encountered while on her travels. She loves textiles, especially the patterns and associated images, yet does not enjoy sewing. Thus, her form of art is an amalgamation of the two art forms, while playing to her own artistic strengths.

Currently, Sarah is working on pieces that feature the environment and extinction. “I’m very concerned about the future of our planet,” she mentions. With this in mind, Sarah is highlighting species such as the rhinoceros and other at-risk creatures that are on the precipice of extinction. She hopes to bring awareness to their plight.

In the future, Sarah hopes to continue her travels out west, as well as explore the areas of Canada that she has not frequented before. “I think I should explore my adopted country!”

This project has been made possible by the Community Media Strategic Support Fund offered jointly by the Official Language Minority Community Media Consortium and the Government of Canada.

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