Born in Stoke-On-Trent, Sara Pope left school to study a degree in mathematics. After completing her degree, Sara soon realised that she couldn’t ignore her creative side and moved to Barcelona where she completed a course in graphic design. After several years in Spain, Sara returned to the UK and began working in magazines as a designer and art director.
Sara has always had a strong passion for shoes. This interest led to her setting up a business where she customised vintage footwear by adding her own twist. Sara was approached by avant garde fashion designer Robert Cary Williams to design a collection of shoes for his London Fashion Week show. In addition, Sara has worked with brands including Paul Smith, Lacoste, Felder and Felder and more.
Alongside her commercial work, Sara has spent time developing her art. Working in oils and acrylic, she makes use of bold, attractive colours with high shine gloss. Taking much inspiration from her commercial experience, beauty, consumerism and the media are now major themes in Sara’s art. Her painting style imitates the slickness of advertising, whilst provocatively subverting its themes. She works in series or ‘collections’, painting a body of work with common stylistic elements and colour palette, as with seasonal collections in fashion.
Sara Pope is best known for her seductive paintings and limited edition prints of big, bold and beautiful Celebrity Lips. They pack a thought-provoking pop art punch. Beneath their glamorous gloss there is a hint of disintegration, raising questions about the ideals of beauty and the transience of celebrity culture. Lips have a fascinating attraction for Sara, sexy and seductive, symbols of femininity, yet communicators of language. “Our lips can communicate a multitude of emotions, and are integral to us reading a face. Yet when colour is applied to these lips, they become powerful, sexual symbols.”
2014 saw Sara have her first international show in Florence and while in Italy she delivered her original portrait of Pope Francis to the Vatican which was accepted into the collection. This led to a stream of media attention both locally and internationally.
Sara has recently been commissioned to paint a piece based on the life story of Jenny Sealey MBE, creative director at Graeae Theatre. This piece is part of a group show with Sir Peter Blake at the Guardian Newspaper.
Sara Pope’s work is rapidly gaining attention, exhibiting with several galleries, in the UK, Italy and now, Singapore.