INTERVIEW WITH SUNDAY MAGAZINE, JANUARY 2015
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND AND TRAINING?

Various experiences have brought me to where I am today. I have been involved with gallery and research work, arts workshops, and have attended the Heatherly’s School of Art and SOAS University of London, studying Islamic Art and Archaeology. I also hold a Masters in Interdisciplinary Sciences and have been teaching Design for many years.

WHERE DOES YOUR DESIGN INSPIRATION COME FROM?

Nature and the Earth are always there in my work, whatever the concept.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUMS TO WORK WITH?

Inks and mixed media are fun, and I have experimented with modelling paste and masking materials. Currently, I mainly use oil and gesso.

WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE ARTISTS - BOTH PAKISTANI AND INTERNATIONAL?

A diverse range. Anwar Shamza, Chafic Abboud, V.S. Gaitonde, Howard Hodgkins, the Pre-Raphaelites, Frank Bowling… And I love some of Abbas Kiarostami’s black and white photographs. Recently I have come across some stunning modern calligraphy by Aghighi Bakhshayeshi (Persian) and Larbi Cherkaou (Moroccan).

WHAT ROLE DOES THE ARTIST PLAY IN SOCIETY?

Artists provide a space where people can be themselves. Highlighting the importance of connecting to oneself and others through creative expression, and broadcasting that connection through media, literary, visual or performance art is an extension of this. They can also call attention to issues that need a voice, and it is essential they support the next creative generation in all fields.

DOES IT PAIN YOU TO SELL PIECES YOU LOVE?

Not at all. But once in a while I will exhibit a piece and not put it up for sale. For example, in this series, I kept a painting for my daughter which I will babysit till she has her own home.

DO YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCE IN MIND WHEN YOU CREATE?

One canvas could be 20 different paintings until it finally settles, so I am not creating for a specific person. Anyone with an open mind could be my audience.

WALK US THROUGH THE PROCESS OF SARA KHAN CREATING A PIECE OF ART.

Light washes and areas of thicker colour are layered over each other, which gives me something to scratch back to later on – so there is forward and backward planning as well as just going with the flow. Often areas are obliterated and hidden as the work takes its own direction.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE SAYING "ANYTHING IS ART" OR DO YOU THINK ONLY CERTAIN CREATIONS CAN BE CLASSIFIED AS ART??

Seeing the Saatchi exhibit, Sensation, some years ago was an eye opener for me. I realized that it didn’t matter what I thought of a particular artwork; by putting new work on display an artist changes an established situation and that is a kind of creativity.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING EXHIBITION, TITLED THERE IS BEAUTY YET.

The pieces are all Oil and Gesso on canvas and range from 50 cm x 50 cm to 100 cm x 150cm. I visited the Lahore Fort after some time recently and in spite of some graffiti and neglect, there are still traces of great beauty. By creating a positive experience on my canvases I hoped to highlight the importance of looking after our history. By honoring and learning from our past, we have a better chance of understanding ourselves.