Affirmation of a genuine talent

Publication: The Daily Echo
Written by: Kate Thompson

Southampton artist Sarah Misselbrook is bowled over at being the first to exhibit her work in the new Bargate Monument Gallery. KATE THOMPSON caught up with her. On one wall there is an image of her in a cruel looking corset, arms outstretched in a sacrificial pose. At the far end her face is projected several feet high and you watch as she applies make up. Sarah Misselbrook really is everywhere.

The Southampton artist is famous for using her body to create her own art form and her challenging work is now being appreciated by a whole new audience.

The ancient walls of the Bargate monument in the centre of the city’s shops and hustle and bustle, have probably never seen the like.

But Sarah was justifiably proud to be the first contemporary artist to exhibit in the new Bargate Monument Gallery.

 

“The show is called ‘Affirmation’ and it was a year in the making – I am so proud to be here and to have my work on show, it’s really important to me,” she said.

In the first five days more than 1,000 visitors came to see the exhibition and it seems local people are enjoying having access to the Bargate once again.

Once again Sarah has suffered for her art. When she made the corset for the main image based on the parable of heaven and hell, she had to take a cast of her own body.

“The cast of my torso was the most painful bit – it had to be so tight and when I wore the final piece for the photo, I could hardly breathe,” she said.

It’s four years since Sarah emerged on the local art scene and she hopes her unusual slant on life will continue to help her with the creative process.

“I wanted to explore our pre-occupation with how we look. At first it seemed a but weird having my own face projected on the wall but now I don’t even notice it,” she said.