Artists We Love: Sarah Biggs


We caught up with award-winning Michaelis School of Fine Art-graduate Sarah Biggs in anticipation of her sophomore solo exhibition entitled Waiting For Rain.

How did you develop your technique and style?

The way I paint has developed quite intuitively out of a fascination of how paint works. I apply thin layers of colour, using turpentine to create translucent forms that are as much about erasure as they are about mark making. Through this practice of layering and removing paint, the figures and landscapes I depict materialise in ways that continuously surprise me.

What inspires you?

Bird watchers; people watching; the weather (currently especially when it rains and shines at the same time); short stories; other artists (too many to mention); the outdoors.

How do you choose your subject matter?

While I avoid naturalistic representation, many of my paintings begin from a photographic source. I am also particularly drawn to natural phenomena and people’s experiences and encounters with them.

If you could collaborate with any South African artist who would it be?

Miranda Moss and I have been threatening to team up for a while… Hopefully this will become a sublime reality soon.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

Probably quite unhappy.

Which one of your pieces have you most enjoyed working on so far/means the most to you?

It is hard to elevate one particular piece. When paintings start to amass in my studio during the build up to a show, they begin to speak to one another and I tend to think less of them as individual works. Drawing from my latest body of work, the painting Anthologia was my first experience working on linen and I had the nervous, excited feeling that drives me as a painter.

Anthologia 2016.

Are you a morning person or night owl?

Definitely a morning person.

The last place you travelled?

I most recently spent some time on the banks of a river outside of Greyton. I like to get out of the city whenever I can.

Highlight of your career?

I was fortunate to be awarded The Turbine Art Fair & Sylt Emerging Artist´s Residency Award (TASA). It included a two-month residency on the island of Sylt, off the north coast of Germany, which was an amazing opportunity and certainly a highlight.

What’s your five-year plan?

Keep calm and carry on painting.

Visit the exhibition at the Barnard Gallery, 55 Main Street, Newlands, Cape Town until 18 July 2017. You can also check out Sarah’s site or follow her on Instagram.