Sarah Arnett

British, 1968

Sarah Arnett is an acclaimed contemporary artist, illustrator, and designer, specialising in fine art, textiles, and interiors. She is known for her fabulously eclectic aesthetic: expect colour and exoticism, busy pattern and bold ornament, and a vision of pure escapism. An attention to process is at the heart of everything Sarah creates; it’s been evolving since her early days as a weaver and her fire for experiment is still burning. Her colourful artworks begin with an initial, hand-drawn idea. Working from her studio in Brighton, Sarah combines these sketches with digital illustration, painting, and original photography, layering as she goes. Educated in the tactile arts of weaving and dying, Sarah’s use of digital processes is meticulous and highly skilled. A kind of reverse taxidermy, every tiny element is hand drawn and gradually built-up to create a rich and complex final image. The plumage on a bird is never just an illustration of plumage, but the hand-drawn creation of each and every feather, intricately layered for depth, texture, and delicate beauty. These digital drawings are then combined with hand-painted backgrounds and self-taken photographs, which create that surreal mix of the actual and the imagined that Sarah is known for. Each work is a collage of endless ingredients, painstakingly composed onto a range of tactile surfaces including paper, textiles, lacquered wood and concrete. Finally, Sarah breathes dazzling life into her work with hand-cut sections of gold leaf, antique sequins, vintage beads, and crystals to create luxury texture and finish.

The work of Sarah Arnett takes you from the black and white of reality to the vibrant technicolour of fantasy, like Dorothy drifting into Oz. Step into a world of the imagination, where Regency Palaces are bedecked with jewels and mystical creatures roam through exotic lands. It’s a stage-set for theatre, its the glitter of Hollywood, its the dizzying dream of poetry.