INTERVIEWED BY Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES via Salon 91
Cape Town-based artist Sarah Pratt is known for her magical and inventive works. Inspired by her latest solo exhibition, Dog Days, we decided to catch up with her to find out more about her enchanting creations.
Your work encourages viewers to make use of their imaginations. Which three things inspire your subject matter the most?
I am inspired by birds and animals and man-made objects such as puppets (especially the ones that have human-like faces). Lastly, I adore pattern, the more detailed the better.
One often finds puffins, dodos and hornbills (amongst other exciting creatures) featured in your work. What is it about birds and animals that fascinate you?
I am fascinated primarily by the way that they look, whether it be a quirky beak or a spotted coat, and I like to imagine them in conversation with other strange creatures and puppets. I still find the idea that odd things happen when we’re not looking. I think there is an interesting tension created when placing living animals and inanimate objects in the same environment; they seem to rub off on one another, the animals becoming more inanimate, and the objects seeming to come alive.
Tell us a bit about your latest body of work, inspired by the life of Laptop, your late (and loveable) canine friend.
Dog Days is a tribute to Laptop and an exploration into my imagination at the same time. I set out to honour her and to touch on her death as well as the death of other animals, but while making the work I became equally interested in creating works that implied her presence in another world, a world that is both beautiful and macabre at the same time. In my mind, she is on another journey now, accompanied by odd but loyal guides and companions.
What are your plans for 2015?
I have two group exhibitions for early this year at Rust-en-Vrede Gallery and then I’ll be working toward another solo. Not sure what about though. I also have quite a few commissions to work through as a result of the Seeking Eden show at Casa Labia and Dog Days at Salon 91. After that, a holiday somewhere wet and cold…
Visit Salon 91 at 91 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town until 14 February 2015 to view Sarah’s latest solo exhibition.