An Interview with Mosaic Artist Sarah Bourne
Interview by SEOS Features Officer Irene Vaughan
How would you describe your work?
I create mosaic sculptures from vintage ceramics and retro objects. I’m also a portrait and lifestyle photographer.
My mosaics are created from 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s crockery that I repurpose and up-cycle, giving a new lease of life to an old and worn out object. Their designs tell a story and evolve as I cut the bone china and porcelain to size. My mosaic work and photography run side by side, allowing me a well balanced work life as a practicing artist.
What is your background?
I have always loved making things and after working for a time as a nurse, I went to Art College as a mature student and completed a Fine Art degree specialising in sculpture. I then worked in pre-production for arts events – which included the building of a road for ‘Archaos’ circus!
More recently, I was Artist-in-Residence at a hospice where I enabled patients to explore their creative side through different mediums including photomontage, video diaries and memory boxes. My love of mosaics began over 10 years ago when working with patients for eight months on mosaic panels for the hospice walled garden, to mark the 25th anniversary of Harris Hospiscare in Orpington. I invited an artist friend, Anne Schwegmann-Fielding, to run a two day mosaic workshop for us and after that I was hooked! The patients drew shapes that I transposed and enlarged onto external plywood. The shapes were then covered with ceramics donated from the hospice charity shops. It was a fascinating and very rewarding experience.
What inspires you?
My parents were antique collectors and they instilled in me an appreciation for antiques and handmade objects. I have early memories of standing in jumble sale queues and rummaging for treasures. When younger, I collected vintage toys; today I search for retro ceramics at car boot sales and charity shops. I do also use pieces from my earlier collections but there are definitely some that I could never part with and they will remain in my studio as an on-going source of inspiration.
My work is particularly inspired by the patterns, designs and colours from the Mid-century modern period/era. The Arts and Crafts movement has also influenced my work and I am currently exploring the Japanese philosophy of ‘Wabi Sabi’ – beauty of broken things.
I’m excited to be facilitating a new participatory photography project from September 2016. It aims to enable people with mental health problems the opportunity to be creative in an inclusive and visual way, using the power of photography to tell a story through the combination of pictures and captions.
I’m currently working on commissions from SEOS 2016 including a large oval garden table top and smaller pieces for the home too. After that I will be working towards Brighton Open House in May and SEOS 2017. I’m also able to help other SEOS artists get ready for next summer by photographing their work.
I have been creating mosaics since 2005, but taking part in SEOS for the first time three years ago generated so many new opportunities for me and I feel it has led me to where I am today. I am very grateful that I have found something that I find so fulfilling to make and that it is of worth to others.
Telephone: 07731 974 364 / 01959 565355