With a strong interest in performance, alternative theatre, circus and realism, Sarah Putt has been drawn to exploring the space between the convention of literal portraiture - with all its technical challenges - and a more creative and symbolic approach where her face becomes a vehicle to express her inner emotional world.
Sarah has been drawn to self-portraiture and portraiture since art collage; but over time found that she became bored with making representational paintings and frustrated with the difficulty of finding a sitter for portraits. She wanted to marry her love of vibrant colour with high drama and so began using face paints and experimenting with mask making, theatrical lighting and a heightened colour palette.
Sarah found face painting allowed her to throw off constraints and be bolder and that mask making enabled her to integrate her love of creating and mixing sculptural forms, textiles and embroidery with painting. Sarah realised that her face could become a chameleon which felt more congruent with her experience of life as an ever-moving process and became fascinated with the whole concept and symbolism of masks - ironically finding that they encouraged her to express much more of herself than before.
The masked portraits reflect themes of alienation, identity, fear, death and grief but also touch on the joy and transients of life.