Hola amigos! To kickstart the week, here’s sharing an interview with Sara that was taken about two years ago by Eugenia Antsupova, a former student at the academy. Lots has happened in Sara’s life since, and we’re brewing up a fresh update for you guys, scheduled to be out later this week. So watch this space, and until then, hope you enjoy this little tête-à-tête between Sara and Eugenia!

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Please tell us briefly about you. Where did you grow up? Where did you study?

I grew up in south of Sweden in a tiny old fishing village called Viken. I left the tranquil town when I turned eighteen, eager to explore the world. After a few months of working in a bar in Creete I was happy to receive the news that I had been accepted into the Florence Academy of Art. I remained there as a student for four years.

Why did you end up staying in Italy?

I heard about the Florence Academy through Gustav Sundin, a painter from a town near by mine, who was teaching summer courses in academic drawing. But what really brought me to Florence was a curiosity and desire to experience a different country while learning the rare craft of draftsmanship. What really made me stay there for so long was the fact that I was fortunate to be granted a few scholarships. Also, the longer I stayed, the more I realized how much I still had to learn.

You are one of the instructors at the Academy. What is your main advice to your students?

Patience and concentration! All the effort you put into learning the technical skills will pay back in time. The academic studies may seem tedious at first. But remember! There will be plenty of time to express yourself after you’re done with your studies.

Please name 3 artists whose works you would like to see in your house.

Ooo, it’s hard to choose, there are so many amazing artists, but there are some particular works that truly inspire me. I would love to squeeze them into my little flat, even though that would mean I’d have to throw out all the furniture.

One of my all time favourite sculptures is Achille d,Orsi’s “I parassiti”, seen in Palazzo Pitti in Florence. As a female sculptor I can’t help but identify a lot with Camille Claudel. Her “Clotho” is particularly powerful to me! So is the Catalan sculptor Miquel Blays, “Los primeros frios” and I have to mention a master piece by an other amazing female artist, The convalescent by Helene Schjerfbeck!

How did your parents influence you?

Both my parents are artistic and very supportive of my choice to become an artist. They both paint as a hobby. My dad is an ornithologist and paints very realistic birds in water colors. As a kid I wanted to be able to do the same. He bought me and my brothers real leather bound sketch books and every time we drew in them he asked for the title and wrote it down at the bottom of the page. We still have the books and it’s so much fun to look in them, read the titles and wonder about the thoughts of a three-year-old. Here is a funny collaboration between me and my dad, inspired by a toad we found at our summer house.

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Your next exhibition will be in Sweden. Please tell a bit about it.

It’s a part of Swede’s biggest annual art event called, “Konstrundan”. It’s a great concept where 160 artists in the region of North west of Skåne open up their studios to the public for ten days. During the same time period they also have a group show where all 160 artists contribute with one piece each. The event has become extremely popular over it’s 20 years of existence. Last year I had between 500 and 800 visitors in my private studio every day. This year I’m more prepared and have organized a bigger exhibition hall.

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What materials do you prefer?

It depends on the project. I love to see my work finally realized in bronze, but sometimes a piece looks better in a different material. I have recently started to make some things in terra cotta and I love it because of it’s raw look and the fact that it’s as natural as it gets.

Which part of making art is the hardest for you? 

The logistics, such as moving big sculptures around between the studio and exhibitions in different countries.

You work in your own studio. Is it hard for strangers to visit it? 

Anyone is welcome to come visit me in my studio, just contact me and we’ll arrange a meeting.

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Is sculpture rationality or mystery for you?

As with everything in life, it’s neither and both! Choosing art as a career is usually not a rational decision. My passion for the unknown is the reason I still took that path. Being financially dependent on making and selling your art work forces you to grab opportunities, travel and meet people. It appealed to me not knowing where the path would take me. Although being an artist is seldom as romantic as it sounds, you still have to work tons and take some rational decisions every now and then.

And what is mystery? 

Perhaps what we can’t fully explain and instead create romantic ideas about.

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There is not much information about art schools in Sweden. How is the situation with art in your country and what trends are popular? 

In Sweden there aren’t very many schools for classical art because we have a tax funded education system that only funds art that can be useful for the society by causing political debate. The government have not yet realized that technical skills can be useful for this as well. Luckily a few great private academies has popped up the last few years.

How many years have you been teaching? 

This is my first year at the Barcelona Academy. Before I thought one year as a student teacher at the Florence Academy. I have also thought digital photography at a high school in Sweden and held sculpture workshops on my own.

What is your motto? 

Carpe diem, haha! No, I wish it wasn’t such a cliché, since it really has a very powerful meaning. My goal and my struggle is always to enjoy the present moment and to not get caught up in thoughts.