Q & A with Sarah Bridgland Artist & Sculptor

Luckily for us travellers, we met the charming and talented Sarah at a creative workshop at the V&A. Her work is totally stunning… the detail, the craft, the beauty, the movement, the ingenuity, and the mind blowingly impressive blend of texture, typography and scale just makes you want to keep coming back for more. She recently created the cover for UPPERCASE magazine, which is known as the magazine for the creative and the curious. It’s totally brilliant.


We were lucky to sweet talk her into sharing a few minutes of her time for a gentle Q+A. Keep her name in mind, if you get the chance to see her work you will LOVE it, and even better if you hear she is taking a workshop near you, be the first in line. xo
About Sarah
I was born in Cambridge, and grew up in a small village in The Fens. Growing up, I couldn’t wait to leave the area but now I’m older I love returning to see family and I think the landscape is beautiful – because it’s so flat there are these huge, empty skies, which gives you a great sense of space. My favourite movie has always been Ghostbusters (I’m a big Bill Murray fan!) I studied a BA in Printmaking at the University of Brighton (Faculty of Arts), before going on to study an MA in the same subject at the Royal College of Art.
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Why & how did you choose your career in Art. Did you enjoy it at school, and who inspired you to be an artist when you were younger?
I’ve always been creative, and whilst I never thought I’d be an artist in the ‘traditional’ sense I enjoyed the subject at school and had some brilliant teachers/tutors who encouraged me and pushed me in the right direction. I don’t really think I chose my career, rather I went along with what felt right at the time and took opportunities when they came my way (even if I wasn’t convinced they were the right thing to do) I still do this now and find my work opening up into new areas. I’m not very strategic about it all and sometimes things work out really well whilst others remain more of a challenge! In terms of inspiration, Peter Blake was always a massive influence, as was/is my older brother Adam who is also an artist/printmaker.
My childhood was punctuated by trips to the north Norfolk coast where my parents would take me and my brother birdwatching. At the time I didn’t enjoy it, but now I’ve hit my thirties I am turning into something of a twitcher!
torcross_pan camping-devon
What is your favourite place for a weekend day out/ long lunch, or for a treat?
I currently live in the Peak District, which is beautiful – but since moving here I really miss the seaside, which is strange as it wasn’t like I previously lived by the sea (I was in London for 8 years) I guess it’s because we are so far away from a coastline, I almost feel landlocked!
So I would have to say my favourite place for a weekend day out would be the seaside! Maybe somewhere like Torcross in Devon as I went on holiday here when I was a kid. Or perhaps a walk along the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales.
What are the 3 most important items in your handbag that you cant leave home without?
iPhone, Nivea lip balm, and notepad to write lists!
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Where would you love to spend an afternoon (with your girlfriends), and why?
It’s a cliche, but probably at some kind of spa. We’re all so busy these days and my best friend travels a lot with her work so it would great to be together in one place, with the added bonus of being pampered!
Which are your 3 favourite designers/ shops ?
Can I have four?! Present and CorrectFine Little DayMadewell (I wish they had them over here!) and Collected by Tas-Ka
Which is your favourite place (museum, park or venue) to spend a creative afternoon?
Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge. If you haven’t been, you have to go. It is the most inspiring place! It was the home of Jim Ede, who was the curator of Tate Britain and he used the space to house his rich collection of early 20th century art. It introduced me to the works of some of my favourite artists – Ben Nicholson, David Jones and Alfred Wallis. In the house, there is this amazing relationship between light and space and the objects that are in the space – it’s beautiful.
A close second to this would have to be the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, especially in Spring.
What creative tools, can you not live without ?
Scalpel, cutting mat and glue.
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What do you use for inspiration with your work ?
In no particular order: printed ephemera, typography, signage, Russian Constructivism, the weavings of Anni Albers, Sheila Hicks, the layout of allotments, Folk Art, interiors magazines, design blogs, taking trips to new cities, long railway journeys, Ben Nicholson, Cy Twombly, collecting, Peter Blake, moveable/pop-up books, toy theatres, dioramas, miniature worlds, surface decoration and patterns in landscapes.
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Can you leave us one creative secret to share please ?
If you’re in a creative rut, never wait for inspiration to happen, work through it. Good things come through the process of making, so even if you’re not quite sure what you’re doing, keep going with it.
Thanks for your time Sarah, we loved catching up with you at the bus stop.
Sarah Bridgland: