‘I use miniature scale to prompt childhood memories of naivety and innocence. Simple as these works might first appear, they explore a symptom of modern society.’
This time for ‘Under the Spotlight’ we have been talking to Sarah Luxford about her influences and inspiration. Sarah’s miniature sculptural work is both fascinating and unsettling, dealing as it does with the troubling aspects of childhood memory and obsessive hoarding.
Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?
Well, on the creative side of things I had a very positive experience with art at school. I remember all three pieces I made for my CSE grade. I made a three dimensional barred cube out of card about 25cm square and an out of proportion lock and chain which trailed around the cube. Funny thing is that 30 years on I am still creating and playing with scale.
What would your school report have said about your art?
I got an A+ and felt that constancy pays for the results, also I was proud as the tutors asked to keep my work at the school.
Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?
After leaving school I went on to complete a five year apprenticeship in a dental technician practice, this is a very practical, skilful job, and attention to detail is really important. I Met my husband in the dental laboratory and we share three wonderful children. I left dentistry when my children were school age and carried on working in education for nine years. I was encouraged to apply for a degree in fine art three years ago, which was the best experience ever.
What or who has inspired you over the years?
My inspirational person when I was growing up was my late father and I miss him dearly. He taught me everything in life, he was a calm, witty man, incredibly talented, very practical and was a ‘Jack of all Trades’. I would not have swapped him for anything.
What Artists do you admire?
I admire Damien Hirst for dominating the art scene in the 1990s and for his persistence.
Lowry, I just love Lowry due to his naive figurative style and industrial landscapes. He made you feel a sense of life in the industrial districts of North West England in the mid-20th century.
What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?
My favourite piece of my work is “Cupboard Under the Stairs” but I love all of the work I make as they all have an emotional connection in some way or another.
Tracey Emin “Bed” as it says it all!
What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?
My biggest thing so far is completing a BA(Hons) Fine Art Degree and this September I’m starting a Masters in Fine Art. I have developed a professional level of learning and gained such a close, valuable, talented network of artistic friends that I feel we will stay friends for ever.
What have you sacrificed for your art?
I don’t feel I have sacrificed anything, as every day is a learning day. Good time management and organisation is the key. Get your balance right and you can achieve anything.
What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?
To be open minded and accept criticism.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?
Continue to be creative, keep experimenting and share ideas. Every knockdown is a new door opening.
How do you start a piece of work?
The visual prompts imagery, I duplicate photographs so that I can cut them up. I look at my previous work and evaluate how I can change or adapt it yet still continue to be experimental.
When is it finished?
When I get a feeling in my mind that I can stop. That I am satisfied.
Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?
Lowry quotes “I am not an artist I’m a man who paints”
Does music help with your creativity? If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?
No, not really as I like to keep focused on my internal thoughts when I work.
What is your favourite medium to work with/in?
At present I am working in sculpture but I enjoy using all mediums.
Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?
No I have no actual “thing” other than my memories, as they last forever.
Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?
My dream is to have my work on display in a major gallery. So one day my dream may come true!
Is there anything you avoid with your art?
No, not really You naturally think of the audience but you must also believe in yourself and if you are strong about something just do it. Leave the interpretation to the viewer itself and let them decide.