Born in the small South African town of Oudtshoorn, Sarita was a graphic designer by trade before taking up painting full time. Her work is best described as abstract expressionist, energetic and vibrant. Color and spontaneity play key roles when producing her artworks as Sarita prefers chaos and experimentation to control and tradition.
I was attracted to art from a very young age and have been drawing ever since I can remember. My older brother is also artistic and we were always drawing and painting together while growing up and from a young age we were the two ‘arty’ siblings in the house obsessed with art, interior and fashion. We didn’t come from a wealthy family and having little money really pushed us to solve problems ourselves and in an unconventional way as we were always painting our bedroom walls a different colour, moving furniture around and experimenting with unconventional fashion trends – all to the dismay of our ‘non-creative’ parents!
How would you describe your style?
How has your art evolved over the years?
I’ve always been intrigued by abstract art but only started working with enamel on canvas 11 years ago. Understanding this abstract language has become easy and natural for me. Over the years my work has become more and more experimental and spontaneous. I feel I’ve almost perfected the technique of pouring and flinging paint and I’m able to achieve the effects I’m after.
What are the inspirations for your art?
My inspiration comes from everywhere. For example, the painting Adore2_ was done while I was listening to classical music so my movements while painting was more graceful and elegant and this is evident in the pattern of the artwork’s paint streaks. My lastest solo exhibition, SEASONS ENAMELLED was inspired by nature as I spend a lot of my time painting outside in my garden because I work with such large canvasses and I tend to get real messy! It was only when looking back that I realised just how much I was influenced by the seasons and how they changed my surrounding environment while working. These changes are represented by the different colours I used throughout the year: Autumn saw yellow, red, orange and brown; winter called for red, black and charcoal; spring was announced with pink, lime and yellow; and summer reigns with green and blue.
How does living in South Africa influence your art?
We’re not called the Rainbow Nation for nothing! Our landscapes, people and history are extremely colourful and being exposed to this definitely influences my art as I’ve never been afraid to use colour and be bold.
What are some of your favorite artists?
The leaders of abstract expressionism, Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline and Mark Rothko.
What is your creative process like?
I never know where a painting comes from when I start – it takes on a life of its own as soon as I start working and moving around the canvas. I’ve never been able to sit still behind an easel so I prefer the spontaneous and unrestricted characteristics of action painting as it feels like I’m dancing and ultimately letting go of whatever is cluttering my mind at that stage in time. In this way, I transfer my inner impulses onto the canvas.
How long does it take you to complete a painting?
I usually work on a few paintings simultaneously because enamel takes its time to dry. I would say I can complete around two to three paintings a week.
What is a key element in creating a work?
What do you want people to take away from your work? What do you want your work to make them feel?
My work ultimately doesn’t ‘mean’ anything or doesn’t exist to question or provoke something, and it’s not necessary to ‘understand’ it. I simply want people to fall in love with my work for their own personal reasons and to be reminded of that reason every time they look at that collection or piece.