Born in Stoke-On-Trent, Sara Pope left school to study a degree in mathematics. After completing her degree, Sara realized that she could no longer ignore her creative side. She subsequently moved to Barcelona where she completed a course in graphic design, returning to the UK to work in magazines as a designer and art director. After some years working in media, her passion for shoe design led to her to set up a business customizing shoes. She was approached by avant garde fashion designer Robert Cary Williams to design a collection of shoes for his London Fashion week show, the success of which inspired her to study a one year footwear Diploma at the London College of Fashion. She has since worked as a shoe designer for many high-end brands, including Paul Smith and Lacoste as well as freelance catwalk projects for brands such as Baby Phat, Gharani Strok and consultancy work for Jemima Vine (brand championed by Pippa Middleton).
Sara’s early commercial work, in fashion, beauty and media proved to be the inspiration for her art. Working in oils and acrylic, she makes use of bold, attractive colours with high shine gloss. Her painting style imitates the slickness of advertising, whilst provocatively subverting its themes. Sara is best known for her seductive paintings of bold, colourful, voluptuous lips. She aims to capture the glamour and seductive power conveyed by a pair of lips. All her paintings from this series start with a photographic shoot, a model and some make up. Exploring the ideas of communication, she asks the model, to think of emotions, love, happiness or flirtation, which she captures photographically. The painting process for these Lip portraits involves several thin layers of oil, being overlaid over each other to create a translucent, glass like quality. Sara is also known for her portraits, most notably having a portrait of the Pope accepted into the Vatican collection. Sara works in series’ or ‘collections’, painting a body of work with common stylistic elements and colour palette, as with seasonal collections in fashion.
Sara is currently represented by 17 galleries in the UK and internationally. Last year Sara completed successful solo shows with Jealous Gallery, London and Lilford Gallery, Folkestone during the Folkestone Triennial, as well as a joint London show with Magnus Gjoen. 2018 began with a solo show at D Contemporary gallery, Mayfair, London. Sara has completed collaborations with The Big Issue, BareMinerals makeup, PIAS music label and Saatchi&Saatchi, ME London and Swedish fashion label Limitato. She is also the first British female artist in over 70 years to have a piece of work accepted into the Vatican collection.