Words By: Katie Farley
All Artworks Courtesy of Sarah Maple
Raised by a Muslim mother from Kenya and a British father, Sarah Maple’s artworks creatively explores the dichotomy of her all-inclusive background as well as the perplexing identity which young Muslim’s experience when living in the western world. Sarah’s works are additionally a reflection of her interest in activism and gender politics, where the contemporary artist applies current affairs that incite the spectator through humorous, whimsical interpretation, questioning the perceptions of individualism, belonging and otherness.
“I think sometimes a sense of humour is lacking” expresses Maple about the art world. “I love humour in art, people like David Shrigley, Sarah Lucas and Banksy. I also love it when comedians use their platform to say something about the world. A lot of my work is very political and I use humour as a Trojan horse to get across the things I want to say. My work is very direct and to the point!”
Her present solo exhibition, “Thoughts and Prayers” illustrates an accumulation of new works, furthermore, an assortment of Sarah’s most notable past creations, unearthing a large selection of media that includes photography, painting, performance, video, installation, collage and sculpture. Her artworks emerge as pro-feminist and enflame a discourse with her sharp wit and ironic eye, unashamedly addressing the struggles of being a Muslim in the Western universe.
The artist’s confrontational aesthetics conflict censorship whilst she examines stories of violence, freedom, and the ironies of pop culture. Sarah frequently applies self-portraiture to steer her narrative or conveys paramilitary-esque performances as a way to project her memo.
“For me, ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ symbolises a complete lack of action from our elected people all over the world. So in this work, I created a text print saying ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ and took it to a shooting range. I then hung it up and shot the hell out of it! The resulting work is the prints covered in bullet holes with an accompanying performance video.”
Pushing the boundaries of femininity, Sarah Maple brings a new voice to the art scene.