Sarah Lazarus


All Artwork by Sarah Lazarus © All Rights Reserved.

Sarah Lazarus sitting down with two of her cushions - same fabric as her dress

Sarah is a textile artist celebrating the Australian landscape by dying and printing cloth with leaves and bark to make artwork, scarves, clothing and homewares. She explains that her work is a celebration of the bushland of Australia. That’s how she shows her joy,  by  being able to experience this fantastic bush, desert and the tropics.

Sarah retired from teaching in her 60s, and went on to complete a three year diploma of textile art. She had always wanted to explore this area of creativity and retirement gave her the opportunity.

The beautiful tones of the Australian bush in her work was also inspired by her life in Indonesia where she taught and lived for many years, she explained: “even though I use Australian materials and plants, the many indigo dyes used in batik was my influence. I was always aware of the beauty of indigo and the way natural dyes are used in batik.”

It’s a need to create something that will give pleasure to other people and to me.

3 citrus bowls by Christine Wallace
3 Monstera fruit dishes by Christine Wallace

Her technique is one she stumbled across when studying textile art when she played with different kinds of techniques. Visiting local artists who introduced them to experimenting with leaves. She found it enthralling to use that process, “It was the alchemy of the pot and cauldron.”

The process of making art is important to her: “I enjoy honing my skills. There is a great pleasure in discovering what you can do with a very simple technique, basically you need nothing except steam and  plants.”

Sarah Lazarus cushion cover
Sarah Lazarus long textile piece

Thinking about the importance of her work as she gets older, she said: “You have to do it because of your psychological health, it’s a compulsive thing for me.  I think it’s something that gives you a lot of nurturing and it’s also work that I can give to other people.”

Sarah continues because she loves doing it and people ask her to do things for them which she loves more than anything else.

“It’s still challenging and there are still lots of things to learn. I especially love teaching a workshop; you always find that students teach you something as well.”

When asked what she would say to other women thinking of taking up a creative activity, Sarah says “tap into what you want to do”, she reflects that it doesn’t have to be visual art, it can be movement or music.

She also thinks it is important to: “network, be part of an organisation, meeting others in your age group, you have so much already in common.” Sarah has her own small tight-knit group of artists she works with to exhibit and promote their work.

Next for Sarah? She hopes to produce more wearable art, making two or three garments for each exhibition. She will continue as she said: “It’s what makes us human; it’s the fulfilment of the spark, of being able to find joy. Everyone is creative.”

Sarah Lazarus eucalypt-dyed pieces
3 spoons by Christine Wallace
Sarah Lazarus cushion cover

Calling all OWN artists!

Do you exhibit or sell your visual art or music? We are eager to talk to members who are independent artists or part of a creative group for our next series.

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