Sunday, October 12, 2008

Two Cools for Sisters Sarahs.

There's Sarah, and there's Sarah. Both are straightforward and upfront. Here's a bit about Sarah Maple, artist.


Work of art I would like to make

People often think I am trying to be offensive with my Islamic based art which is absolutely wrong as I am Muslim myself. The work is about the distorted view many Muslims have of their own faith and culture and what makes a 'good' Muslim: especially in a western society. Many Muslim or Asian people have said things to me like 'Yeah, but you're not a proper Muslim are you?' Why? Because I have white skin and don't listen to RnB? I did try – I bought the 'Boys to Men Legacy' CD once but it made me feel ill. In my work I question if you can be a 'good' Muslim in the West; especially if you are from two backgrounds like I. Islam is indeed a way of life. But what do you do when you have two completely opposite parents, to whom are you loyal? This relates to the current political climate with Islamic extremists. Many of these kids who become terrorists are born and bred in the west. They have grown up confused and torn between the cultural attitudes of Islam and the western environment in which they have been raised. This battle between East and West has sky rocketed over the past ten years. I dread to think of how much worse the world could be in 25 years time. If I was to be picked for Four Sensations I would make a work on cultural identity in relation to Islam.

Sarah Maple Link.

British artist Sarah Maple's sleek self-portraits juxtapose confessional audacity with comic, pop-culture quips. They also explicitly confront religious identity. Born in 1985, Maple grew up in Sussex, England. As a child, she drew her own portrait again and again, beginning a trend toward identity-probing that would drive her career as an artist. Raised by a British father and a Kenya-born mother, she and her siblings were brought up as Muslims. She says, "When I was growing up, I always wanted to be more Islamic. And then, when I grew up, I felt like I wasn't very Islamic at all because of my Western influences."

Maple studied fine art at Kensington University. Upon graduation in 2007, she won the 4 New Sensations prize—an award created by Channel 4 and The Saatchi Gallery, bestowed to the "most imaginativeand talented artists graduating in the U.K." The award targets recent graduates who don't yet have gallery representation. Art world hot shots—including Antony Gormley and Tim Marlow— choose four finalists from a short-list of 20 artists. The finalists were each given £1,000 to create new work, which would then be judged by Internet voters.

Maple created a series of campaign posters—slick images that called to mind a cross between Ron Paul's current "Revolution" banners and John F. Kennedy's "Leadership for the '60s" campaigns. Each poster captured a different cultural identity that made coercive but lighthearted pulls for her art prize candidacy: "Vote for Me or You're Racist," "Vote for Me or You're Sexist," "Vote for Me or You're Islamaphobic," and "Vote for Me or You're an IslamaphobaSexistRacialist." She won the popular vote—and the £3,000 prize money—which jumpstarted her art career. Since winning the Saatchi prize, her work has been shown at Scream Gallery and exhibited in London's Tube, with Art Below's project to turn railway "ad space into art space."

More at: Maple Image Tree Link.

Sarahs are doing well these days. To see Sarah Maple's work at the links you might have to set your computer to unfiltered images. Google, hosting me as they do so generously, are determined to protect you from evil influences like art. Thanks Google.

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