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Sarah Field

Artist Interview


Where are you from?
I was born in Albury, grew up in Adelaide, lived in Sydney during my 20's and now I live in Melbourne.

What is important to you?
Realising there is always potential and surrounding myself with great people.  

Where do you source inspiration for your work?
The concept of inspiration is very interesting.  I don't find myself sourcing it. It permeates. I can't control how it enters or how it manifests.  It just happens.    

Can you describe your first experience with feminism, or perhaps when you first identified as a feminist?
I was studying Glass Blowing in Adelaide. My mentor at the time was a very strong, confident and successful woman. Her name is Gabriella Bisetto.  What struck me most about her was the way she spoke.  She spoke with clarity and without trepidation.  I had never met a woman like that before and I wondered why that was the case.   

Sleepover Club is about collective action and art making, but also about joining the broader conversation on feminism, if applicable, how does your work translate the female experience?
Feminism for me is simply about equality. There is a long and sad history of inequality against women that has continued well into the 21st Century. In 2015 violence against women still stands as the most prevalent human rights abuse around the world. This is always in the back of my mind when I make which would explain my particular aesthetic. My work often blends elements of horror, disgust and fragility.      

Can you speak about the themes and issues you explore in your work?
My work has always been rooted in feminist discourse. I often question beauty aesthetics, gender and sexuality. More recently I have been focusing on gender inequality so naturally I've been wading through some pretty dark and mucky waters.  

Your practise is primarily installation and object based, can you elaborate on why and speak about your process?
I enjoy using installation because it allows me to construct an environment. In most cases this environment is an uncomfortable one. We still have a lot of "taboos" in our culture which include sex, sexuality and gender. When I make an installation the viewer can no longer be "outside" of the conversation. They are within the installation and are therefore participants.  It is an opportunity to communicate with people on a different level because the experience is immersive.  

What do you think needs to change in the art world in order for equality to be achieved?
I think that to establish equality by demanding inclusions in the existing power structures of the art world is fraught with difficulty and is often faced with strong resistance. Systemic change is possible but in the meantime I suspect that more and more female artists will gravitate towards working collaboratively or join collectives where they can facilitate their own support structures.  

Can you share with us your favourite artists/activists?
I don't have a favourite. Recently I have been revisiting Maya Deren's work and brushing up on some of Sara Ahmed's writing.